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  • Possible perilymph fistula? Need help

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    Old 12-27-2014, 04:57 PM   #1
    Join Date: Dec 2014
    Posts: 1
    greatsun HB User
    Possible perilymph fistula? Need help

    Hi, and thanks for listening:

    Let me begin by saying that I am not looking for medical advice, but rather seeking perspectives on my condition from other sufferers of dizziness or PLF.

    My story is as follows: about a month ago, I began having ear pain that would alternate between ears. After a few days of this, the pain settled in my right ear, where I developed both pain and fullness that persisted for about two weeks. My ear constantly had the sensation that it needed to "pop," such as what one experiences when on an airplane. I went to my GP after a week of these sensations, who told me that it was likely Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and that it would resolve soon. She prescribed decongestants, antihistamines, and a steroid nasal spray. I took Sudafed and Allegra (but not the spray, as I am scared of steroids) but they did not seem to help.

    Well, in the meantime, my blocked ear was annoying the crap out of me, so I decided to go online and look for some home remedies to try. One thing that I found was something called the Valsalva maneuver, in which you close your mouth, pinch your nose and blow out against closed airways to unblock the ear. I tried this several times over the course of a few days in attempts to get my ear to unblock. Most times it was difficult to get the right ear to "pop," and even when it did, it did not alleviate my symptoms.

    Shortly after trying this maneuver, however, I read that the Valsalva maneuver can actually DAMAGE your inner ear and cause a perilymph fistula if done too forcefully. (I don't think I did it too forcefully, but I can't be sure.) Learning this sent me into a panic, and ever since, I have been experiencing a vague, constant dizziness that lasts all day. I have had trouble focusing my eyes and it feels, at times, like my brain is being sucked up and out of my skull (sorry). In the meantime, the sensation of fullness and pain in my right ear has improved greatly, but I am still being plagued by this constant dizziness. This dizziness has been present for a full week now. I have no sensitivity to loud noises, no hearing loss, and no episodes of vertigo. I do have a bit of wooziness when I am a passenger in a car, and I have felt extremely, unnaturally ill and fatigued throughout this ordeal. For those of you who have had PLF, does this sound like it could be a possible PLF? Is it even likely that I acquired a PLF after performing the Valsalva Maneuver?

    Thank you so much for your help. I am hoping and praying that this dizziness is a fluke and not related to a PLF or inner ear damage, but the possibility scares the ****** out of me, regardless. I have had an extremely stressful year between losing my job, acquiring a crippling hip injury, and dealing with a host of other health issues, and the possibility of chronic dizziness is not something I feel capable of dealing with at this point.

    Thanks so much again.

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    Old 12-27-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: nunya
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    biteneck HB Userbiteneck HB Userbiteneck HB User
    Re: Possible perilymph fistula? Need help

    Dizziness can be from a fistula in the ear. I'm sorry you're going through this. I also have problems with dizziness and it's affecting my life now for 2.5 years. I do not have a fistula though. They should be able to check for that with an MRI or CT scan. I hope you feel better soon.

    Have you seen a neuro-otologist who specializes in inner ears?
    Take care,

    Old 12-31-2014, 12:14 AM   #3
    Join Date: Dec 2014
    Location: Northern Illinois
    Posts: 2
    myrz HB User
    Re: Possible perilymph fistula? Need help

    Well I'm sure you have done some research by now. I have! that's how I ended up here.
    I would strongly suggest you visit an ENT. but, I don't feel your situation is PLF! I'm by no means a professional and i'm only going by mine and some of the other experiences I have read about. It could however, be a beginning stage of PLF? Here is my experience-
    for months I have been feeling like there is some sort of fluid in my middle ear. It would muffle my hearing and pop and clear once in a while. 3 weeks ago I was spreading salt on my steep icy driveway and wearing a cheap pair of slip on shoes that had no tread. I got swept right of my feet without catching my fall and landed right on the crown of my head. It split open and bled for awhile. I put ice on it, but the swelling lasted for a week or more. I never went to the ER because the split was not deep and I felt fine. about a week later I started getting mild headaches. Then, two weeks later Dec. 23 I woke up really dizzy and nauseous. I could hardly concentrate. I made it through the day and woke up the next day to suddenly losing 75% of my hearing in my right ear. I had already loss 75% in my left ear years ago. So now i'm practically deaf. I went to shopko fast care and she reported no wax or infection, but prescribed steroid drops and a antibiotic anyway! The next two days I had no improvements and was feeling leary of taking the antibiotic she prescribed, especially since she said there was no sign of infection. So, I called two local ENT's to see if they could get me in. Since I lost most of my hearing, one was eager to see me. After lots of questions and test, he diagnosed me with PLF. It seems that the fall has most likely caused a tear in the membrane in the middle ear which is now allowing fluid to leak in where it doesn't belong. He sent me to for a hearing test, CT scan (for a possible fracture which came back negative but showed some extra fluid) I am currently on a STRICT bed rest and oral steroids for 5 to 7 days in hopes that the membrane will heal. If the membrane heals I will get most of my hearing back (This will be determined with a follow up hearing test) If it does not, then I have a feeling that I will be referred to an Otolaryngology clinic at the University Hospital in Wisconsin (I'm in Northern Illinois) and have more test ( a more detailed, high resolution CT scan?) and possibly surgery!
    It sounds like maybe we had the same symptoms in the early stages, but it's too hard to tell. As I have read PLF is hard to diagnose! A normal CT scan does not give positive diagnosis, but there is a more detailed one that the Otolaryngology can do. You can read up on it if you wish. I wish you luck and if you want to follow my progress reply to this thread. If you reply to this, I will keep you posted! If not, I will assume you got help else-ware and lost interest with a follow up here. Therefore I won't update this post!
    One last note- I have read that a MRI will not show signs of PLF, but could show other signs of problems in the head, like meniere's disease!
    good luck!

    Last edited by myrz; 12-31-2014 at 01:03 AM. Reason: adding comments

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