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    Old 08-18-2004, 10:35 AM   #1
    amt2002
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    Unhappy Do i have labrynthitis?

    Hello all, first post here

    I've been suffering with what my doctor tells me is mild labrynthitis for the past 8 weeks. However, I have been getting a little more concerned of late as to whether it is actually labrynthitis, or something else completely.

    My Symptoms, which have been CONSTANT for the past eight weeks are:

    1) A constant feeling of beeing 'muzzy headed' / mild dizziness. It's not so bad - the ground doesnt move or anything, and I can go on doing whatever I'm doing as normal if I must. However, things like driving are a little un-nerving coz I feel if it gets any worse I would be in trouble - although it had never got THAT bad.

    2) I've been having quite a few headaches, although these are mostly mild and not with me 100% of the time, and seem to get better once I have done some neck exercises. I'm thinking they're probably tension headaches. However I must add I've never had a problem with headaches before this started.

    Other points to note:
    -I have NEVER had any feelings of sickness.
    -this started about 3 weeks after I had a panic attack, which I've never had before. Doc says it's unrelated.
    -I havent been on any mediacation, apart from a few beta-blockers in the week following my panic attack.

    So, is it safe to assume its not labrynthitis (as my symptoms havent got any better over the 8 weeks, no sickness etc)?

    Any ideas would be really appreciated, I'm really worried about this, and looks as if I'm going to have to return to my doctor

     
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    Old 08-18-2004, 01:41 PM   #2
    groovyk
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    Hey

    I can sympathyse with you. I've had constant dizziness for about 2 months now. I had ear infections before that...so I was told that it was possibly labrynthitis or some other ear disorder.

    The headaches could be to do with stress. Since I've been dizzy I have noticed more headaches...its because I worry too much about it.

    It sounds like a good idea going to see your doctor to get things checked out again. I got referred to a ENT specialist..I'm still waiting for the appointment. Tell the doctor your concerns and hopefully you'll get referred.

    Don't worry..if the doctor thought it was anything bad he/she wouldn't have mentioned labrynthitis as a cause.

    Let me know how it goes.

    Take Care

    Kelly

     
    Old 08-18-2004, 03:31 PM   #3
    Billy1234
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    amt2002:

    I cannot tell you whether or not you have labyrinthitis..

    Dizziness is a very ambigious word..... it can mean anything from feeling lightheaded, to full blown rotational spinning. Different kinds of dizziness have different sources.

    Inner ear problems (such as laby) cause vertigo (which is defined as an halucination of movement - whether that be rocking, swaying, or spinning (like you just got off of a roundabout)). With inner ear problems they are usually much worse with movement (and position), if movement or position (and possible complexe visual environments) don't have much effect on your symptoms and you don't feel like your wobbling about, then the inner ear is unlikely as the cause.

    Most forms of dizziness are pretty benign (which is never much comfort...), so try not to worry.

    People with inner ear problems often get panic attacks as a result of the constant feeling of falling/swaying (wouldn't everyone?).

    However, lightheadedness is also a very common symptom in the general populus, and the inner ear is not usually the cause. People with panic and anxiety problems often get lightheadedness as a more chronic symptom (usually partly related to hyperventilation).

    I suffer from inner ear related stuff now, but years ago (long before the ear started causing me problems) I suffered from panic attacks and more chronic dizziness - I felt pretty miserable, and every time I walked anywhere it just got worse, over several months it eventually went.

    I guess you need to work out what kind of dizziness it is your suffering from, then go from there?

     
    Old 08-18-2004, 06:01 PM   #4
    amt2002
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    Thank you very much Kelly and Billy for the replies. Both of you have raised some interesting issues.

    Billy - I'm particularly interested in the panic attack / anxiety link, despite my doc believing it to be unrelated. During my panic attacks, my heart raced and I felt very lightheaded - as if I was going to faint. This happened during my university finals, which I have since passed and all is finished. I suffered a few more panic attacks in the weeks that followed and was pretty miserable, but my mood soon began to lift and I havent had one since then, 8 weeks ago. However it was when they subsided I started to feel "dizzy". This was not the same feeling of lightheadedness I got during my panic attacks, rather more the vertigo symptoms u mention, albeit VERY mild. I guess its a slight feeling of turning, with me wanting to tilt my head to the side to try and make it better. It gets worse when I'm in the cinema, or bending over to lift something. It seems to ease when I'm lying in bed, and doesn't disturb my sleep.

    However, it's no better now than it was 8 weeks ago, and the doctor told me things improve gradually and steadily - which they have not. Does this mean I can rule out labrynthitis?

    Thank you again,
    Alex

    Last edited by amt2002; 08-18-2004 at 06:02 PM.

     
    Old 08-19-2004, 03:52 AM   #5
    Billy1234
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    However, it's no better now than it was 8 weeks ago, and the doctor told me things improve gradually and steadily - which they have not. Does this mean I can rule out labrynthitis?

    No, with viral labyrinthitis (technically with labyrinthitis the whole labyrinth would be imflamed hence you'd probably have hearing symtoms to, if only the balance nerve/organ is affected then it would be considered vestibular neuronitis - but some docs use the terms interchangable, the net effects the same it's just semantics really...), a virus damages the balance organs in the ear, the virus probably only lasts a few days then it's gone, the inner ear cannot repair itself, and any damage is permenant. However, the body recovers through a process called central compensation, whereby the brain basically learns to adapt to the faulty signals and interpret them differently. Even a minor deficit can cause major symptoms which can be easily and quickly compensated for, but it can take a long time, for most it takes a few weeks, but for some it can take months or years. Obviously your brain needs stimulus to learn to adapt so it's important to keep moving, and avoid things which mask the deficit (ie medication), sometimes VRT can help speed things up.

    See [url]www.vestibular.org/compensation.html[/url]


    That said, with labs/vn you would expect the symptoms to be a little more than the vague/mild symptoms your describe. If it seems to be much more effect by position then BPPV could be a possibility - but that can easily be checked for by a good neurotologist (an ENT consultant with additional training for innerear problems..).

    Of course anxiety could still be the cause - it's often the case that it's after the times of stress that anxiety problems become there worst (because your body gets used to producing lots of adrenaline to get you through the stressfull time (when you have a focus), once the stressfull period passes your body can continue to produce the adrenalines but it has no focus so it comes out as a generalised anxeity problem). YOu could try some breaving exercises and see if they help. Out of curiosity, does drinking alcahol help (thats not a suggestion by the way!!), it's just that alchahol usually makes vertigo/inner ear problems ten times worse (unbearable), but it numbs out some of the effects of anxiety.

    Last edited by Billy1234; 08-19-2004 at 04:00 AM.

     
    Old 08-19-2004, 09:44 AM   #6
    amt2002
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    Well, I dont usually drink alcohol and havent since this all started so I'm not sure about that one - although I'll be sure to give it a go sometime soon!

    It was interesting what you said about having chronic dizziness for months following your anxiety problems. I think it's entirely plausible anxiety could well be the cause - it's certainly interesting that this all started happening just days after my panic attacks. It's nasty this, being dizzy just makes us worry more! But I've been pretty relaxed and happy recently (I'm on holiday), so I'm thinking could this really be the cause? But I suppose I'm always worried about my dizziness and it not getting better, so maybe it is the cause.

    I've now got a better idea about everything, and think it's a good next step to go and see an ENT specialist / get an ENG to discover whether it is actually my inner ear causing these problems or not. Then I'll have a far better idea of what to do next.

    I'll let you know how I get on.

    Many thanks,
    Alex

     
    Old 08-19-2004, 02:01 PM   #7
    Billy1234
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    Good luck!

    If you can, see an neurotologist instead of a standard ENT - a normal ENT doesn't really have the experience or expertese for most dizzy cases....

     
    Old 06-18-2006, 10:44 AM   #8
    Beverley Young
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    Hello
    I have had labrynthitis since April 2005, and although the earliest symptoms
    were feeling sick,(although actually was sick twice only) this happened in the
    first couple of weeks, after that what i experienced was more of a light
    headed feeling or even a heavy headed feeling at times, foggy head, ears
    feeling full, slight panic attacks, neck ache, a feeling like I was in a
    different world, symptoms were worse at night, sometimes work up
    and felt like my head was all over the place, many more symptoms just
    can't thinks of them all at the moment.

    During the last year and a bit, when symptoms have been at there worse
    i have spent a lot of time researching on various websites etc.... the one
    thing i have learnt about this bloody awful condition is that their are many
    different symptoms and that generally speaking the Doctors do not know
    too much about it themselves, which why i ended going to a Homeopath
    in January 2006, and this definately seems to be helping, i would recommend
    it to anyone who is suffering.

     
    Old 06-18-2006, 12:49 PM   #9
    Tiff22
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    its really hard even for doctors to exactly pinpoint an inner ear disorder. I have been diagnosed with labyrinthitis, and have never had actual vertigo (spinning). Its all been extreme lightheadedness, as if i am going to pass out. I have visual symptoms where it seem like im looking through the wrong pair of glasses, and sometime pressure behind my eyes. I also have tinnitus and fullness/pressure in my ears and head. I get headaches from time to time, and nausea from the dizziness. I have had labyrinthitis for 8 months now, and i have to say, it has been a very gradual recovery process for me. I could only tell from month to month if i was getting better, and i even had a period of time where i was starting to feel good, but then felt like i took 2 steps back and was feeling really awful and lightheaded again. I had 2 major panic attacks since i became dizzy, both of which i went to the ER for (dizzieness, chest pain, heart palpitations, couldnt breathe). I never had any anxiety problems before the dizziness, so my doctor told me that it is not the anxiety causing the dizziness, it is the dizziness causing the anxiety. However, there are cases where it is certainly the other way around, as anxiety can make you feel as if you are going to pass out. I notice when i have exams to take i get more dizzy too, but dizziness and anxiety are all connected. Im in grad school now, feeling much better but nowhere near normal. Stress makes the dizziness worse sometimes. Just wanted to tell you some of my story to show you that inner ear disorders can cause a wide variety of symptoms in everyone, and labyrinthitis symtoms will not be exactly the same from person to person.

    beverly,
    your symptoms sound a lot like mine, except my dizziness is worse in the morning, but all the nausea comes at night before i go to bed. hope u start to feel better.

    Last edited by Tiff22; 06-18-2006 at 12:53 PM.

     
    Old 06-19-2006, 01:32 PM   #10
    Beverley Young
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    Hi Tiff
    Your so right about the stress, I moved house 2 months ago, had
    a really stressfull time, prior to this I had felt pretty good but as
    soon as the stress arrived so did the symptoms lightheadedness and
    really bad headaches again, I really feel from stuff I have read and
    things that have happened in my life over the last couple of years
    that stress is a major factor to this condition, a friend of mine works
    in homeopathy and told me that one the homepath he works with had
    suffered from labrynthitis and had said that it seem to be a condtion
    related to your nervous system, as a I am someone who is constantly
    worry about something I can really relate to this!

    So the answer is less stress in our lives, easier said then done eh!
    poor you with exams to worry about! have you tried rescue remedy
    it is natural and will help you relax, I have used it before and it does
    work, if things get too much for you, I really do recommend seeing a
    homepath mine has been great, its been 6 months and I have definately
    noticed a big improvement, I felt so low in January 2006, and was determind
    not to suffer like I did last year, one of the worse problems I found was
    people at work, their lack of understanding as it is not a condition you
    can see and the word dizzy seems to make people smirk for some strange
    reason, their is certainly nothing funny about it! it is hard to lead a normal
    life, as sometimes you really feel you seen the back of it and then it
    suddenly creeps back up on you! I hope your 100% again soon!

    Bev

     
    Old 06-20-2006, 10:58 AM   #11
    comeandrelax
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    Re: Do i have labrynthitis?

    hey!

    i just wanted to say that my labs started about 9 months ago after a stressful time and it started as a panic attack.....3 actually in 3 days. i have had panic attacks before but nothing like these. the last one actually made me so tired that even my friends could tell that i looked worn out. i woke up the next day feeling off.....never spinning, just light headed and off balance. went through all the tests and came out with viral inner ear infection. i had a bad cold about 3 weeks before that. im doing better after 9 months except for anixety and i still feel off alot but its milder. i was told expct 5 months to a year. its very common and it will go away

     
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