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Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

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Old 01-13-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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hopelessvertigo HB User
Question Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

So, here is my story:

Last Monday I woke up feeling lightheaded and a little dizzy... within an hour the room started to spin and 7 days later the spinning hasn't really stopped. There have been times where the spinning has been less and I almost feel like myself again but (more often than not) the spinning has been so bad that I can't stand or walk.

I've been to see a doctor who gave me a prescription for meclizine and told me the issue was probably BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). They showed me the Epely Maneuver and told me it would go away in a few days...

What I don't understand is that everything I've read about BPPV says the spinning and dizziness should only last for a few seconds - minutes and is triggered by sudden head movement. Friday the vertigo was severe, lasted 11 hours, and wouldn't lessen no matter what position I was in or how rapidly I moved my head. I feel a fullness in my right ear and I am unable to pop my ears. Antihistamines seem to lessen the vertigo but, so far, nothing has made the vertigo stop completely. I've asked doctors if they think it could be an infection like labyrinthitis but they told me that they still think my vertigo is positional. When I brought up getting a prescription for steroids or antibiotics the doctor told me that he didn't think it was necessary and told me to continue taking the meclizine -- even though it doesn't seem to have any effect -- and to continue with canalith re-positioning maneuvers -- even though they didn't seem to have any effect, either.

I am 26 years old, overweight and have a history of ear infections (my last one was more more than four months ago). Three days before the vertigo started I had mild flu-like symptoms (headaches, muscle pains, fever) that lasted a day and a half. I am a social smoker and made the poor choice of smoking nearly half a pack two days before the vertigo started. When the doctors looked there was no fluid or wax blockage in my ears (just some mild scarring on the ear drum from tubes when I was a child). I have passed all neurological tests and, aside from the vertigo, I feel physically fine.

I am not to proud to say that I am terrified -- constantly afraid that the severe vertigo will come back or that this feeling will never go away. When the vertigo lessens to mild dizziness (usually in the late afternoon/evening) I get this false hope that its finally over but I wake up the next morning spinning like before.

My question is... What do I do to make this go away? I will try ANYTHING at this point.

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Old 05-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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mulkie HB User
Re: Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

sounds like possible menieres disease to me... go to a different ent for 2nd opinion!

Old 05-11-2013, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

Hello HopelessVirtigo, Unlike Mulkie, I wouldn't jump to Meniere's Disease from the symptoms you describe. You could still have BPPV. I have it. I say that I "have it," but actually have it on again and off again. It took a good long while to get a proper diagnosis, though. Here's what happened.

I had had a bad cold. I don't have them often, but almost always when I do, I get an ear infection. I used to get ear infections often as a child, but that was before kids got tubes in their ears and before much of anything was done about it. Anyway, I had gotten this cold that was clearing up, but as my cold got better, my ears started acting up. At first, I thought it was my "usual" ear infection. My ENT found no signs of infection, although I did have a little moisture in my ear. I was getting dizzy, especially when bending over, turning my head, or moving my eyes too quickly from side to size. I was sent for a hearing test, and for the various balance and vertigo testing. Those tests include adding moisture and air to one ear and then the other, turning your head, sitting up, laying down, wearing special goggles and following various things on a screen, and so on. The end result was that they could not find anything wrong with my ears, including Meniere's. That didn't make me feel any better, and it certainly did not eliminate the dizziness.

I was then sent to a physical therapist that ran me through various positional exercises, eye exercises and so on. I had tried them on my own, first, but I did not really get any relief. The physical therapy sessions helped a little bit, but not entirely. At some point (maybe 3-4 sessions in), it was finally decided that, based on my medical history, I most likely have an autoimmune version of BPPV. The dizziness eventually went away, weeks after it began.

As it happens, I believe that I DO have an autoimmune problem, even though it is somewhat rare. The dizziness comes back every once in a while. Sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours, and sometimes for a few days or longer. But, it does go away on its own, and it rarely is anywhere as strong as when I first had the problem.. One thing I have noticed, though, and it sounds as if the same could be the case for you, I am much more likely to have the dizziness return if I am very tired, if I did not sleep well for a few nights, or if I am very stressed.

My suggestion is this: Pay attention to patterns. If my situation matches yours, then you know that your problem is most likely BPPV brought on by fatigue or stress. That means that it's not serious, and simply a symptom of how you are feeling overall. Get some rest, and it will go away quickly. If, however, the symptoms persist for long stretches (weeks, let's say), it's worth another discussion with the ENT, and maybe, insisting on further testing.

I hope this all helps. I wish you well.
Best wishes to all, FleaFly

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~ Dolly Parton

Old 05-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Re: Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

I would see an ENT. Post viral labyrinthitis usually lasts no more than two weeks. This does not sound like BPPV to me, for the very reasons you cited. A Rx for hydroxyzine may help more than the meclizine, and sometimes steroids are used for a short while. If this doesn't let up soon, a test for Meniere's and MRI are indicated.

Old 05-13-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

so sorry to hear of your problems. i was in the hospital for 2 nights and i had the exact same symptons as you, plus non stop vomiting and now have been diagnosed with menieres disease. i am on a no salt diet, a diarretic daily and carry around zofran and valium in case i have an episode. its terrifying. look up menieres disease on google and then go to another ent who has experience in managing this disease. they are not sure what causes it and there is no cure but it can hopefully be controlled. good luck to you. oops i forgot to mention that they also put me on a weeks course of steroids.

Last edited by mulkie; 05-13-2013 at 08:56 AM. Reason: had to add somethiing

Old 05-27-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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Re: Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

I've had my inner ear problems since 2000..been to some of the best neuroto's in the U.S. NO ONE can figure anything out and I continue on with my balance problems and no end in sight. I wish you the best but don't expect anyone to "cure" you. It will probably never happen.

Old 06-19-2013, 12:42 PM   #7
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Re: Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

BUMP. I have been diagnosed with BPPV, and also have a constant sense of wooziness and imbalance. I have been told by a local neurotologist who specializes in vertigo and dizziness that the BPPV is causing the sense of imbalance and that it's not unusual at all. He said that I need to go to VRT and have more Epley maneuvers. He also said, don't believe it you are told that the Epley cures 90% of people with BPPV; it's more like 60-70%. If you have nystagmus (uncontrollable eye movements), then you very likely have BPPV and not VN or Meniere's. However, some people with BPPV don't produce nystagmus because their brains suppress it, especially if they've had BPPV for a long time.

Old 06-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: Constant Dizziness with bouts of Severe Vertigo?

i have tried accupuncture and it helps me for about 2-3 days. you might look into it.

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