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  • Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

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    Old 08-19-2005, 11:32 AM   #1
    jellycat
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    Post Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    Hi there

    I have had VL for about two and half weeks now. Dr has put me on betahistine which has dampened the effects of the vertigo, but I still feel pretty ill at times. Get a horrible sensation that everything around me is tilting and feel sick and v tired. Have been going to work, but has been a bit difficult and had to go home sick today.

    If anyone has any advice for me I would be grateful. One thing I wondered about - I have read that it is important not to take medication for more than a few days as this will delay your brain compensating - is this correct?

    I have also found that drinking any amount of alcohol however small makes things worse. Have had to give up the red wine for the duration!

    Thanks.

    Last edited by jellycat; 08-19-2005 at 11:33 AM.

     
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    Old 08-19-2005, 11:50 AM   #2
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    So sorry to hear you are dealing with this. It is a terrible thing to have. You definatley don't want to drink any alcohol while you are feeling like this. It will make you feel worse, as you have figured out already. As far as medications, it is important to not take vestibular suppressants (valium, dramamine, ect...) after you feel like you can handle your symptoms. You will feel better once your brain compensates for the damage done to your inner ear, and taking these medications can prolong the compensation process. I have damage to my inner ear from a virus. Not nearly as bad as what viral labs makes a person feel like but I did have vertigo and motion sensations for a long time. This is my second bout of this stuff after being symptom free for four years. The first time I had it I took dramamine the entire time not knowing it would hinder compensation, and it took me six months to recover. I'm not sure if I would have done it faster or not, but everyone is different. This time I didn't take any dramamine after the first few days and I feel better after four months. It' still here now and then, but I'm hoping for more symptoms free days in the near future.

    Talk to your doctor about the vestibular suppressant issue and see what they say. I'd be careful though, an ear doctor looked me straight in the face after I asked about taking dramamine and the symptoms taking longer to go away and she said it didn't prolong anything. I've found out it does matter. Make sure you find a doctor who really knows their stuff. I've never went to one but supposedly neurotologists are the doctors to see.

    In the mean time hang in there. Try to be good to yourself and rest. It is important to try and stay as active as you can. This makes your brain work at realizing it is getting the wrong signals from your inner ears and make the adjustments it needs to get you feeling better. You might also find that you feel really foggy headed and out of it, that is because your brain is working over time at finding your balance again.

    You will feel better. It just takes time. Again, I'm sorry you are dealing with this. Find a doctor that can support you and give you the information and care you need to feel better. Good Luck!

     
    Old 08-19-2005, 12:05 PM   #3
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    Thanks Joy, thats all really useful stuff. I hope you feel completely better soon.

     
    Old 08-19-2005, 02:21 PM   #4
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    Just wanted to chime in too and say those medications do indeed hinder recovery - I'd advise coming off them and trying to remain active as this is how the brain will compensate.

    Joy - inner ear damage from a virus IS viral labyrinthitis - is it not?

    xxx

     
    Old 08-19-2005, 04:43 PM   #5
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    CrazyLabyrinth-
    I assume that damage from a virus is viral labyrinthitis but the doctors say I don't have viral labs because my vertigo is only about 30 seconds, and I don't get nauseau. The vertigo is only the onset and then I'm left with swaying/movement sensations 24/7 until it all goes away, which takes months. Then the doctors go on to say it is a virus that must have damaged my ears. So I'm confused too But in the end I guess I'm just lucky and mine is milder than most people. Don't really know....

    How are you feeling? Haven't seen you on this board in a while. I hope you are doing better.

     
    Old 08-19-2005, 05:32 PM   #6
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    Hi Jellycat,

    Considering you are in the acute stage of this at the moment (which can last 4-6 weeks) I would definitely consider taking a med to reduce the horrible symptoms. There's no need to suffer needlessly when you can ease the ride. Valium (diazepam), lorazepam and clonazepam (klonopin) work well for calming the body down (works on the central nervous system) and dampening the bum vestibular signals. Taking it as needed (but not overdoing it) in these early days is fine and will not hinder your progress or compensation. But over the long term you should use it sparingly if needed as it can slow compensation. I used valium a lot and it *really* helped. Today I am nearly totally compensated - valium did not hinder this process in small (I would take 2.5 mg) occasional doses. The anti-dizzy (stemetil) meds did nothing for me.

    From Timothy C Hain at the University of Penn:

    "Benzodiazepines are GABA modulators, acting centrally to suppress vestibular responses. In small doses, these drugs are extremely useful. Addiction, impaired memory, increased risk of falling, and impaired vestibular compensation are their main shortcomings. Lorazepam is a particularly useful agent because of its effectiveness and simple kinetics. Addiction, the biggest problem, can usually be avoided by keeping the dose to 0.5 mg BID or less. Similarly, low doses of diazepam (Valium) (2 mg) can be quite effective. Clonazepam (Klonopin), is as effective a vestibular suppressant as lorazepam (Ganaca et al, 2002). The author prefers to avoid use of alprazolam (Xanax) for vestibular suppression, because of the potential for a difficult withdrawal syndrome."

    Best - Scott

     
    Old 08-19-2005, 06:15 PM   #7
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    Joy - confused! Viral labs or inner ear damage would begin with vertigo then go into 24/7 dizziness with no more vertigo. Yours sounds more like BPPV if you still getting vertigo for 30 secs...

    Am not bad thanks...been away for a while hence not on plus try not to get too consumed by the illness...just started a VRT regime so here's hoping...but am not holding my breath!!!

    xxx

     
    Old 08-19-2005, 07:48 PM   #8
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    CrazyLabyrinth-
    The vertigo is only the initial onset of all of this. Both times this came on, I was fine and all of a sudden the room started spinning for under one minute. Then I'm left with 24/7 dizziness (I feel like I'm moving around either swaying, rocking, or turning). One doctor thinks it's BPPV, but did that test where I lay down and she turns my head to one side, and nothing happened. No dizziness. She thought maybe I wasn't in the accute phase anymore and if this comes back again to come see her right away. As "off" as I can feel I'm never afraid to move in anyway, because no movement seems to make me feel worse. I'm not sure what my problem is. it's so strange how both times this happened it occured in the exact same way. I'm fine, then room spins, then left with 24/7 dizziness (swaying, ect) for months on end. The vertigo happens during the first week a couple times and then that subsides into only dizziness. Maybe it is BPPV and the movements that bring this on are really subtle and I just don't notice it. Although in the early days of this I could be sitting still and have the room spin. I'm not sure. Part of me thinks that everyone displays different degrees of symptoms for the same problem and that is why doctors aren't sure what the heck is going on unless you are a textbook case. I feel like I don't fall into any category perfectly, although labs sounds the most right except the severeness of the actual vertigo for me is MUCH MUCH less. Sorry for rambling. I guess after all those tests, and doctors I'm still not 100% sure what is going on. I have damage from something and that is pretty much all that matters I guess. I'm doing better (thankgoodness) but still not completley out of the woods. Hopefully I'll be there soon. And hopefully you will be there soon as well. I hope the VRT works for you. Keep at it, you deserve a break and recovery from this stuff as you have been dealing with it for way too long. Keep us updated on what is going on with you.
    Take care,
    Joy

     
    Old 08-20-2005, 01:47 AM   #9
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    Re: Viral Labyrinthitis - any tips for new sufferer?

    Thx joy - bless you. I get you now - so youve only had 2 vertigo attacks - which could well be labyrinthitis...I thoguth you meant you'd had lots.

    Glad you are improving xxxx

     
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