Could this be vestibular neuritis?

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi guys,

A year ago I caught a virus that made me very dizzy, nauseuas and experiencing concentration / memory problems. The virus cleared up after 2 weeks but the concentration problems, dizziness and nausea remained.

I was originally diagnosed with vestibular neuritis by my GP but my ENT doctor disagreed because:

1. I have cognitive problems and he said vestibular neuritis doesn't cause that

2. My dizziness isn't the classic vertigo (room spinning) it's more a constant feeling 'off' or slightly disorientated

3. He said vestibular neuritis dizziness is episodic, whereas mine is continuous.

The dizziness and brainfog have now been put down to my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which I've had for 7 years although I never had dizziness or brainfog as part of my symptoms until catching that virus a year ago.

What do you guys think? Can Vestibular Neuritis ever cause cognitive problems?


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I’ve had something very similar. Caught a virus (....was either that or food poisoning) and seemed to get better. Did have true vertigo for a couple days. Just had episodic ‘spin’ feeling every once and awhile after. Then 6 weeks later I ended up somehow getting this “rocking” feeling which I’ve had for four years. I was diagnosed w Mal de Debarquement but it’s hard to say how I got this and why. But one thing I have learned is to try and stay calm and anxiety only worsens any vestibular issue. Find a good vestibular therapist and start doing eye (saccade, stabilization and VOR) exercises. You will get better.  Calm yourself. Drink less caffeine. Anything to help you feel better overall. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply smile I hadn't heard of that condition, it must be very challenging for you to live with. You're right about the importance of staying calm, I have a tendancy to panic occasionally over this ('what if it never goes away?! etc) which of course only makes things worse. x

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  • Posted

    Your symptoms are almost exactly like mine, but mine are more severe with the brain fog and fatigue/body shut downs.

    To my knowledge,  Cognitive problems can definitely occur when dealing with Vestibular issues. In my particular case, it does.  No ENT, even top rated ones, could diagnose the issues. You may want to visit an otoneurologist. There’s less than 40 in the US. One in Boston, one in Rhode Island on the East Coast.  Some in CA.. They can give you specific balance testing, possibly VNG test, and then advanced testing beyond that to determine if any permanent inner damage caused from the virus has occurred. They will check for BPPV(crystals), viral labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis etc. They will typically recommend physical rehabilitation as well to help retrain your brain to compensate. 

    I also describe my dizziness for the most part, exactly as you do. I’m “off or off balance” is what I say to the doctor. Hard to put it in words but I know how you feel. Occasionally I do have the classic vertigo symptoms as well if I turn my head too quickly, or if I tilt my head back. Nausea occurs often when the symptoms are present. 

    This is the second time this occurred for me, both right after I caught a virus. The first time lasted almost 7 months. This time it’s permanent and it’s been close to 6 years. Hopefully this will give you a few alternative options to investigate possibly, for a more specific diagnosis. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the reply, our conditions sound very similar. Most doctors I've seen expect me to have vertigo when I say I'm dizzy and don't seem terribly convinced by my own descriptions of it (probably because, as you say, it's really hard to describe!).

      I'm in the UK but I'll have a look for an otoneurologist, it would be good to get a proper diagnosis. That's interesting that they can check for inner ear damage, I think the standard tests I've had with ENTs don't do that. They just diagnose based on symptom description.

      It would be really useful to be checked for inner ear damage, would tell me whether this is an inner ear issue or just the M.E. like the doctors say...

      Lots to think about!

      Do you find the brain retraining / vestibular rehab helped your symptoms at all?

      Were you ever able to  get a definitive diagnosis?

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    • Posted

      The brain retraining can help but even that has to be done properly, and by a qualified person familiar with the exact diagnosis. Otherwise, as in my case originally, it can cause more harm than good. The testing the otoneurologist had me do involved a machine blowing air into ears while trying to focus your eyes, and cognitive testing at the same time.  The more advanced testing to give a baseline of a normal persons inner ear in comparison to your own, involves sitting in an egg shaped object while spinning back and forth and trying to focus on a red light. Your eye movements are recorded and they can get an idea if there is permanent inner ear damage, and how severe it is. 

      In my case the testing came back as permanent severe inner ear damage in one ear. They also think I’m having silent migraines at the same time in combination with the ear damage. A double whammy. 

      Think the diagnosis was uncompensated peripheral vertigo 

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