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    Old 10-28-2005, 03:57 PM   #1
    notpain
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    Inner ear questions and Viruses

    I have balance problems, sinusitis and neck degeneration. The University Neurosurgeon says my balance is not coming from my neck.

    That leaves:

    Sinusitis
    Inner Ear
    Mystrey Ailment

    This post is about inner ear viruses:

    1. I had an audiologist test my hearing, it tested "normal" can I have normal hearing and an inner ear virus?

    2. How long can one carry an inner ear virus?

    3. Can an inner ear virus escape detection in blood work? I had complete bloodwork done including virus check and nothing too out of ordinary except a high marker for EBV and Herpes 1 was a little high too (I get cold sores).

    4. What about bacterial infection? Can a bacteria cause the inner ear problem and escape detection in bloodwork?

    Please keep in mind when answering the above I am at the 14 month mark and nothing has self-resoved, in fact I am getting worse!

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Only sitting very still or lying in bed brings any kind of relief, not total relief but at least some. Too much activity and the balance goes quickly and the nausea starts.

     
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    Old 10-29-2005, 03:31 AM   #2
    Tesss
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    Re: Inner ear questions and Viruses

    Hi Notpain
    In answer to your questions:
    1 - you can have normal hearing and an inner ear virus - it doesn't always cause hearing loss - I have normal hearing yet have labyrinthitis.
    2 - I don't know how long a virus can be carried before 'activation'. Once your body detects it it will take up to 6 weeks to destroy the virus. Most people recover within 6 weeks, however if damage has been done then it can take a lot longer. The virus isn't there anymore but the symptoms are caused by the damage done by the virus - if that makes sense.
    3 - As far as I am aware (and other people please chip in) they don't know exactly which viruses affect the inner ear. However the herpes virus is one of those that has been found in the inner ear of people with labs/vn (at autopsy).
    4 - I would assume that a bacterial infection could cause inner ear damage, but again once the body has fought the infection there would be no trace of the infection anymore - however the damage caused by the infection would give you the symptoms.

    So I hope that helps to answer your questions and gives some insight into how you got this in the first place. Unfortunately I don't think you will be able to say definitively why this started.

    Also, although this will make you feel worse, you do need to get up and try to be active - only activity will help your brain to understand the new signals coming through and interpret them. The more you do something the easier it will get. Just start slowly, try to go for a short walk. Do you have someone to be with you and help you - a spouse or partner?

    Best wishes, and post any more questions
    Tesss

     
    Old 10-29-2005, 05:57 AM   #3
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    Re: Inner ear questions and Viruses

    Hello,

    Just to say a couple of things. Firstly, I can't really add to Tess's answer, no hearing loss and no sign of a virus or a bacterial infection are all completely normal with an inner ear disorder. The virus tends to hit and run - there is no trace of it, only the damage it's caused.

    I'm not on the board much these days but I've just taken a look at a couple of your posts. I am fairly amazed no one has suggested migraine as the cause of your troubles. I strongly suggest you read the section on the neck in a book called Heal Your Headache by David Bucholz. It explains how a neck problem doesn't directly cause the problem, but causes migraine, which could then cause all the problems you have described. I think you would find the neck section of this book a real eye opener. In fact the whole book is a real eye opener. Also read an article you can find on the net by Robert A Battista about migraine associated vertigo. If you search around a bit using his name you'll find it.

    It is entirely possible to experience migraine without headache. It could be that your neck problems are triggering migraine which is manifesting as balance problems and nausea. It could also be that the neck has been misleading, namely you've been told it's not your neck causing the dizziness. in a way this may be true, it isn't the direct cause, but an indirect one - namely

    neck problems - leads to - migraine - leads to - balance problems.

    As opposed to

    neck problems -- leads to - balance problems.

    I have been diagnosed with atypical migraine - migraine associated vertigo. I have jaw clenching issues which have caused tmj - this is one of the triggers for my migraine which manifested initially only as dizziness for months and months, the headaches came much, much later on. They do no know if I also have vestibular damage, I might, but whatever, migraine is a big part of my problem.

    I realise you have already tried numerous drugs, but it can often be hard to find the right one. Many people give up on migraine as a diagnosis as the drugs they try don't cure them, this is often misleading as many drugs simply don't work for certain individuals, it's trial and error. They type of nerve block injections you've had are used in the treatment of migraine where the neck is considered a major trigger for the migraine, (that's how recognised it is that the neck can lead to migraine, which is well documented to cause balance problems/vertigo/dizziness, often without a headache.) Of course the injections don't always work. I radically changed my diet which helped me.

    When it comes to balance issues, in the vast majority of cases the problem is either inner ear or vestibular migraine. Neck and back issues can cause balance problems, but you're had this ruled out, so time to examine the other two options, I'd say.

    One other thing I am not 100% clear on, but may be worth examining, is that it's possible that migraine pain can actually only manifest as neck pain. After all it's possible for migraine only to manifest as dizziness or as visual disturbance.

    I'm not saying you don't have vestibular damage, you might. But generally, if you have different symptoms - neck pain+dizziness, which started at the same time, you would guess that they may all be bound up in one medical problem - and migraine could definitely explain your strange symptom history.

    I strongly recommend you read the Buchholz book I suggested, especially the section on the neck. He explains what I am trying to explain much more clearly.

    best,
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    Last edited by hbep; 10-29-2005 at 06:12 AM.

     
    Old 10-29-2005, 11:53 AM   #4
    notpain
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    Re: Inner ear questions and Viruses

    The only thing that is odd in my situation is it NEVER goes away, I have not had one day of relief in 14 months. I have lower and higher intensities of symptoms but they NEVER go away. I will look into the migraine angle and try to read the book if I can. It will take a while to read. I will probably have someone read it for me. Thank you.

     
    Old 10-29-2005, 11:59 AM   #5
    hbep
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    Re: Inner ear questions and Viruses

    Hello,

    One of the common misconceptions about migrainous conditions is that they are intermittent. I have a migrainous condition, a close friend of mine also has MAV, both of us had unrelenting symptoms, her for a year, me for 2 yrs. There are a number of other people I know on this board diagnosed with migraine as the source of their balance problems who have or had continous symptoms. It is only now that my symptoms are intermittent that I have a clearer picture and can isolate and see when attacks happen. Before the 'attack' was effectively continuous.

    best,
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