Could my mystery illness be chronic inner ear problems?

Posted , 4 users are following.

I have been suffering for many years now, and I'm only 23.

I first went to the doctor at 19 and complained of feeling tired and just not all there. Very vague but just a feeling of being off.

I've been back and forth to doctors since, had all the standard blood tests and have always come back negative. I've seen a neurologist who said it's unlikely to be narcolepsy or a specific neurological disease but did empathise with me and believe that it was essential I got to the root of the problem.

My GP doesn't really know what to say and it's basically up to me now to push forward otherwise nothing will get done. Things are getting worse and it's preventing me from pushing on with my life. If i hear another person tell me it's in my head I may scream!

So back to my symptoms: My problems are general malaise, spaciness, cognitive and general weakness. However much sleep I get i'm never refreshed and can fall asleep anytime any place. My cognitive functioning is really declining. I'm nearly always in a haze and zoned out. The severity varies throughout the day. My head feels heavy and my symptoms seems to peak in hot/cold atmospheres or pressure changes i.e trains, planes etc

Now let me add that for many years, I have had a fullness in my ears, particularly my left ear and I also have tinnitus. I have recently noticed a correlation that when I get a particularly bad attack of tiredness and spaciness it is preceeded by heavy ringing in the left ear. At this point a cloud comes over me and I find myself staring blankly into the television or book i'm reading for 20 minutes or so.

I've also had a very strange finding that often at the same time as it lifting, I feel fluid trickling down the back of my throat. I presumed it to be some unrelated sinus issue previously but having inspected it it doesn't seem to be mucus. Could it be inner ear fluid?

My research into inner ear disorders has highlighted that a problem with the inner ear could cause debilitating symptoms but the majority of the symptoms aren't particularly matching of mine. The feeling is a mild drunkeness at al times and alcohol does exasperate the problem, as does eating in general.

I don't get nauseous, I don't get motion sickness or severe dizziness. 

I do have a sense at all times of MILD dizziness, just spacy and hazy. And this trickling down of fluid has happened many times as the fog lifted.

If anyone can give me some advice I would be extremely grateful. 


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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Chris, I am sorry you are having so much touble.

    I went through similar problems and I had to take anti depressants for a long time. It helped.

    Now I have lost 40% of my hearing in my right ear. Happened over night. ENT,Surgery and nasal spray

    not working.

    I hope you get help soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris, it's possible that you have some inner ear damage, as some of your symptoms sound like labyrinthitis.  It would definitely be worth going back to gp and asking for an ENT referral even if it's just to rule it out.  I had sinusitus and allegies which led to an ear infection which led to labyrinthitis and I can identify with some of your symtoms so would definitely recommend following this up and look at other sites about the various symptoms that can come with labyrinthis as they are really varied and affect people differently.  Hope you get an answer soon.
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  • Posted

    I have something very interesting to add.

    When I turn myself upside down,  within 5 seconds I get the same strange symptoms.

    Disconnected, zoning out.

    Could this be Menieres?


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  • Posted

    Hi Chris, I know this may sound like a wild idea, but your symptoms were like mine were several years ago. It turned out our house had a gas leak so it was causing me to be very tired, hazy and loopy. Always felt like I was drunk. I never felt like I could get a good sleep and I'd wake up with my heart racing (a symptom you don't describe though). For a year I went to drs and they tested me for everything and they finally suggested that I see a mental health specialist. It wasn't until I had my 2nd stroke - and seeing the same nurse at the ER - that she suggested that it may be something from our home. We then had the gas company come out and sure enough, the gas heater for the complex next to my bedroom window was leaking. But it was a sporadic leak so we weren't getting hit with constant heavy doses of the gases. Long story short, we were moved out and it took almost 9 months before I started feeling well again. I did go back to all of the doctors I had been to and let them know what it turned out to be, just in case it were to come up again.

    I do hope you find the source of what's causing this for YOU. I went thru sooooo many tests, changed doctors many times and the saddest thing of all is that the doctors didn't believe me. Just keep looking for that doctor who will help you.

    My heart goes out to you...


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