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  • Inner ear vs. ????

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    Old 08-27-2004, 02:17 PM   #1
    kmac10
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    Inner ear vs. ????

    I've never posted, but have definitely been doing a lot of reading. Sorry in advance for the lengthy first post. I'm still in the process of trying to determine what is causing my symptoms. Since I am stumping all of the doctors, I thought that I would run it by you guys to see what you think...

    My symptoms started rather abruptly one day about a year ago. I don't really have dizziness, but I have this awful, awful foggy feeling that fluctuates in intensity, but is always there to some degree. It keeps me from being able to study/work effectively, as well as keeping me from enjoying most everyday activities. It does almost feel as if I'm mildly drunk all the time.

    Along with this "fog" I have had a change in my visual perception. Hard to explain, but like things aren't quite in focus and my brain doesn't quite interpret what I'm looking at. My vision is 20/20 per my opthalmologist.

    Along with the above symptoms, I also noticed that I was having trouble hearing people as well (saying 'What?' all the time). I couldn't tell if I really couldn't hear as well, or if I was just having trouble processing what I was hearing. I also developed this frequent popping sensation in my ears, definite fullness in my ears and throat, and the feeling that I was having increased drainage down the back of my throat. I have never had problems with allergies.

    One ENT diagnosed me with Eustachian tube dysfunction, and even put tubes in my ears to help with the pressure sensation. To be honest, it didn't do much. I am now working with an Oto-Neurologist who is interested in helping, but he is first investigating the atypical migraine route, and hasn't ordered any vestibular testing. I just really feel that there is a strong correlation with my foggy feeling and all of my ear symptoms in all of this.

    Any input? Do these symptoms ring a bell for anyone? Particularly the foggy feeling? Thanks so much.

     
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    Old 08-27-2004, 02:31 PM   #2
    kmac10
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    I forgot to mention that I had pulsatile tinnitus for over a month. It started to fade, and now has been gone for months (keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't come back).

     
    Old 08-27-2004, 03:24 PM   #3
    Mad_Eddie
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Kmac.....I can certainly see some of the symptoms you are suffering in my own battle. I am not sure if I too baffle the Doctors...or that they don't want to put the energy in to helping me.

    I certainly found it encouraging when I found other people suffering the same symptoms as me so......

    My symptoms started suddenly about 2 1/2 years ago and I would descibe them much like yours. I often describe my feeling as "Drunk" and "Foggy". I would say that I too feel some kind of change in my vision but the optician didn't find anything either. As for the hearing... I have noticed an extremely minor change which can vary..however on my 2 trips to an ENT specialist my hearing was tested and no problems discovered.

    It sounds like a combination of some kind of middle ear or sinus problem which maybe linked/causing an inner ear infection. I am no Doctor and I have not suffered the Draining issues you describe but the rest sounds a lot like my issues. Maybe its worth looking at the 2 seperately.

    Good luck Pal...don't think your alone in this

     
    Old 08-27-2004, 03:26 PM   #4
    Billy1234
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    I'm with littlemiss, there could be an inner ear component, especially the feeling of being slightly drunk all the time.

    Migraine (MAV) can also cause inner problems, it's a good route to try.

    Visual problems are also common in inner ear dysfunction - however, a lot of docs seem to underestimate that...

    Last edited by Billy1234; 08-27-2004 at 03:27 PM.

     
    Old 08-27-2004, 03:47 PM   #5
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Here is one observation I made:

    Many of us on the inner ear board have the same symptoms as those on the chronic fatigue board, as those on the stress and anxiety board, and those on the thyroid board.
    OK- there are some of us that know for sure, those on the anxiety board that feel 90% better on Paxil, those that thyroid tests are way out of wack, and those( i.e. Subs) whose eng was abnormal and had a very good response to the therapy.

    However, there are many on the chronic fatigue board that tested negative for everything and think(or told by a dr due to symptoms) that they have chronic fatigue and some have been treated that way for ten years. There are many on the stress board with those same symptoms(mostly brain fog, dizziness,anxiety, fatigue etc) and have been treated for anxiety for ten years. Then I see many people on this board(inner ear) with negative brain mri, neg eng, and good blood who think they have inner ear disorders...

    The common bridge is most of us dont feel better. Do doctors really know or are 60% treated wrong --sometimes for years. I think this relates to the poster of this thread--hope i didnt vent too much. bh

     
    Old 08-27-2004, 04:11 PM   #6
    Billy1234
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    dback: As far as dizziness goes, the term is ambigious, hence it crops up in lots of things, however inner ear stuff causes vertigo (hallucination of movement), vertigo nearly always stems from either the inner ear or (rarely) the brain (or something effecting those).

    The dizziness experienced during anxiety is not the same (more lightheadedness), and can usually be tied to certain event and often is in short episodes... but I do agree that a lot of doctors quickly dismiss people with inner ear problems as it being anxiety. In 96 I had problems whereby I kept feeling dizzy and wobbly, went to see my GP who quickly decided anxiety was the cause, slowly over a number of months it disapated, then in 99 I started feeling dizzy again - however this time I felt really off balance too and it was a little different to what I experienced in 96, luckily I had a new GP who thought it was inner ear right away, but if I'd had my original GP I'm sure he would of said anxiety was the cause. Of course secondary to my innerear problems I now have anxiety too, but the problems I have suffered since 99 I'm sure are inner ear related. I think the problems in 96 were anxiety, admittedly I sometimes wonder if maybe they were inner ear related. My point is, even though the sounded similar, they were quite different, and having experience both you can tell one is on a purely physical level the other isn't.

    Unfortunately, not everything can be tested for, so a lot of diagnosises have to be made based on symptoms, as I mentioned in a different thread, it is very common to have completely normal test results but still have a substantial innerear deficit (something which some ENTs can't even get their tiny minds around). Therefore, the doctor has to make thier diagnosis based on the descriptions provided by the patient, and work as a detective... Of course there is a hazy area in the middle.. so some people get dropped along the wayside - that said people with vertigo will rarely accept their symptoms are down to anxiety - nor should they.

    I hope that makes sense....

     
    Old 08-27-2004, 05:21 PM   #7
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Hi everyone, I had to reply to this. As dback has mentioned those on the other boards, I am one of them. I have been diagnosed with "anxiety" a couple of months ago. I had a normal ENG, but paxil and others have made me feel the same if not worse. I have been to every doctor under the sun, and still, all they can say is anxiety. I have visual problems, like sometimes I can't read. At times, when I move my eyes or neck really fast, I see stars.
    All I can say, is that they have not correctly diagnosed me yet. I know that I have anxiety, because I feel like ....! I have not had one normal day since March. I look on all of these different boards for support, andmaybe we are all connected.

    Carrie

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 12:17 AM   #8
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Anxiety can indeed cause a halucination of movement due to fatigue of the mind and could also come from a cervical problem and indeed CFS could cause fatigue enough to cause these same feelings and with anxiety and stress this also causes fatigue of the mind and if totally relentless can cause this foggy drunk dizzy feeling along with your eyes playin tricks on you and causing funky things.......something could very well be connected.... but which came first the chicken or the egg? anyway just wanted to throw my 2 cents in there.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 01:42 AM   #9
    claireoz
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Yep, I agree with all these last couple of posters. There are a whole heap of us on these boards that DON"T fit into a neat category. I have been down the ENT road, a neurologist who put me on migriane medication (which just made me sleepy), a sinus ct scan which showed very allergically inflamed sinuses and I went on months of treatment with antibiotics( as if that can help an allergy? I had no infection or gunk???) and also antihistamines which did nothing. I've taken both Prozac and Lexapro, neither of which made a noticeable difference to the dizziness, and the anxiety/inner ear debate is such a hard one because it so is the chicken or the egg thing. I know that when I'm in a shopping centre and already have my fuzzy, slightly off-balance feeling (which I have 24/7) I start to get anxiety about being in an uncofortable situation where there's so many people around and I don't feel 100% well and in control of my senses, kinda like going out when you have the flu or something, you just want to get home to the lounge and tv again. It really is a nightmare. And yes, I understand the concept of inner ear problems being true vertigo with no lightheadedness or feeling like blacking out such as in anxiety, but I feel that the dizziness a number of describe on here is DIFFERENT to both of those. I don't feel lightheaded all day, nor do I feel as though I'm spinning all day, it's as people say, a foggy, wavery, constant movement, fuzzy-eyed, drunk feeling that may change in intensity but NEVER EVER goes away completely.

    Sorry this is so long, but I am astounded at how many of us here seem to have this same symptom that no one understands and doctors dismiss. I guess the best explanation anyone can come up with is allergies, but why has it flared up all of a sudden and not gone away even for a second? And how can allergies that bad ever be sufficiently controlled for us to get back on with our lives. I know some people on here use chlor-trmeton, but we shouldn't have to just take strong, sleep-inducing medication indeterminately! I feel that help may only come from natural means, ie. trying an allergy elimination diet cutting out all wheat and milk or something, or maybe try to get our hormones balanced as imbalance can often trigger dormant allergies off. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I'm going on 10 months with this and have been off work from my wonderful teaching job the whole time so I am pretty passionate about getting better, as are we all who bother to come to this site for answers and support.

    Good luck everyone and may we be dizzy-free one day!! (PS. If I find an answer you'll all be the first to know!)

    Claire in Oz

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 02:53 AM   #10
    will100
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Hi Kmac,

    The symptoms you describe sound similar to what I am experiencing, I don't really have any kind of spinning sensation which most people associate with dizzyness... more of a rocking (if I try to focus on something) but the most noticable thing for me is the foggy head / difficulty concentrating part. I also have tinnitus and problems with pressure in my ears. I was diagnosed with Viral Labyrinthitis but my ENT is now saying it might not be that... so no diagnosis as yet.

    Sadly as most of us on here have discovered, the symptoms that we all experience often seem to be quite 'general' and doctors find it hard to fit them into a certain catagory.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 04:43 AM   #11
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    I also dont have spinning, just a constant off balance feeling. This is my 6th year and I have been down every route - been diagnosed with CFS, BPPV, anxiety, thyroid - you name it, but nothing helps. I am current doing VRT but it is rough as I have neck problems and I cant get past the first few exercises even though Ive been doing them for 3 months. I am into my 4th month off sick from work and starting to think that nothing will ever help. My own doctor thinks that it has something to do with my neck muscles and tried acupuncture but it didnt help. My dizziness is always worse when looking down.

    Good luck to everyone in finding the cause and getting some relief from this dreadful feeling.

    Chris

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 07:54 AM   #12
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Yeah-- when we see people on year six like you and year ten like Wowweeee it seems very fustrating. I wish this board was not anonymous sometimes so all of us with this vague feeling could get together and (I dont know) figure something out!
    I guess my main point of that post was we all have very similar feelings, we all have not given up but noone really feels themself anymore--nor will many of us ever feel like we used to... I hope thats not true.
    Hey Subs you are like a doctor to us and a wealth of knowledge but I think your great progress(to 100%) is a minority. Even others who say they are better still write posts now and then saying that they had setbacks or their life is not the same-- still.
    OK sorry for the rambling but I am a little fustrated--- I was one of those daredevils who needed to do things like rollercoasters, wakebaord, and ice hockey and this took the life out of me.... and I keep talking about "really soon Ill be doing that again"--but how I feel and reading these posts it seems like there is no reason to be really optimistic.....

    Last edited by stackzone; 08-28-2004 at 07:55 AM.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 09:22 AM   #13
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    dback: I know how you feel, I used to surf a lot (4-5 times a week, was sponsored etc) until I cam down with this in 99. But to add a positive note I was surfing again in 2000 and until this year, where I've had a set back, but hopefully I'll get back in one day. I think it's important to realise that inner stuff (or whatever) doesn't get better overnight, it takes slow gradual improvement, it's not linear either, be prepared for some pretty major setbacks, but on the whole the prognosis is pretty good and things will ease over time.

    Will: Vertigo is NOT spinning, it is an halucination of movement and can include spinning, rocking swaying, summersalting etc. Infact funny you should mention that because apparently problems with posterior canal (which isn't checked by the ENG) often make people feel like they rocking or falling foward - I best describe my feelings as if I'm summersalting through space.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 11:44 AM   #14
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    God it feels good to come here, especially when I'm at my lowest. It diminishes my anxiety big time.

     
    Old 08-28-2004, 03:53 PM   #15
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    Re: Inner ear vs. ????

    Im with you dback... I used to be into sports of all kinds and incredible hand eye coordination...(which isnt much of a prob now but...) I feel so far out of whack all the time it's more than discouraging to say the least.... and Im still having a hard time accepting any of it and that's why I still let it make me panicky... who knows man but just keep hanging tough... the end of this mess is somewhere out there.

     
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