I have had vertigo for nearly 5 weeks now

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I have suffered from vertigo BPPV for over ten years now sometimes i have short bursts that go away on their own and sometimes they last weeks then i am referred for an epley manouver, this seems to happen every 5 years (have had 2) and follows a period of great stress. I have recently moved house and that has brought it on.  My new doctor has reffered me but it has not been classed as urgent so i am on a waiting list. I am 5 weeks in and the vertigo itself had diminished but am left with a constantly thick head i cannot wear my reading glasses as it makes me dizzy. I feel better when i lie down, but am wobbly when upright, I hate loud noise or things that make my eyes move quickly. Has anyone got over this naturally. I am told that the crystals in the ear dissolve over time anyway and wondered if anyone had got this on thier own and returned to normality. at the moment I seem to live in a fog cannot concentrate, and have no mental clarity, on a good day I can walk the dog but otherwise seem resigned to a day lying down. I need some light at the end of the tunnel.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jules,

    I can confirm that my BPPV did resolve spontaneously when I had it 27 years ago. However, the bad news is that it took something like two years to clear up completely. (Can't remember exactly how long at this distance.) I saw an ENT doctor, who performed what seems to have been the Epley manoeuvre - again, as far as I can remember - which made me very ill indeed for a couple of days, with constant vertigo, nausea and vomiting. This cleared up, but leaving me with the positional vertigo for which I'd consulted him in the first place. I lost confidence in doctors after that, and just waited it out. But I was younger then, and more able to cope with the unsteadiness.

    Now it's back - but in the other ear! I've had it for two months, and I think it's improving slowly but it's up and down from one day to the next. I'm older now, living alone and am finding the unsteadiness a bit scary, so have decided to try and speed things up. I don't think I could cope with another year or so of vertigo this time round!

    My wonderful GP has referred me to a specialist vestibular physiotherapist who he personally recommends, and my appointment is tomorrow. However, it's at 6.30pm so there's no way I'm going to let him attempt the Epley on me at this first appointment just in case it goes wrong again, like last time round. I don't fancy having to stagger home on foot or on the bus in the dark if I'm spinning and vomiting like last time! My prescription is for up to 9 sessions (which I don't imagine I'll need) and our health service will cover 3/4 of the charge per session, so he can use this first one to assess me, then give me a daytime appointment if he wants to attempt any dodgy manoeuvres.

    I'll keep you posted. I hope your vertigo clears up quickly, or that you can get some help with it. Have you been referred to an ENT doctor btw?

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily

      i was referred by my doctor at the beginning of Feb but the consultant did not mark it as urgent so have been put on a waiting list which will take months, I am going to ring up for appointment to see the doctor who referred me to see if i can speed up the process or go private if neccessary as i do not want to spend most of this year like this, I will also ask the doctor is he can do the epley at the surgery but  not sure if he will. will find out tomorrow if i get an appointment. The health service here is not as good as where i lived previously.

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    • Posted

      Jules, have you looked up the half-somersault manoeuvre? Jackie from these boards recommended it to me. Thank you Jackie!cheesygrin You can find the video on YouTube. I've tried it a few times, without success so far, but will ask the physiotherapist if he can walk me through it at my upcoming appointment. Jackie says she's had very good results from it.

      I also did a search for adverse effects - which can definitely happen as a result of a badly performed Epley - and found two medical articles that said there were no risks involved with the half-somersault. It either works or it doesn't but won't worsen your condition. Each time I tried it, the worst that happened was that I felt slightly nauseated and wobbly for about two minutes afterwards.

      I hope you can manage to speed up your ENT appointment. My GP has advised me that it's usually better to start with a specialist physio (which is certainly borne out by my bad experience with the ENT in 1990) but I think it depends which country you're in. I'm not sure whether vestibular physiotherapy is treated as a speciality requiring additional training in every country.

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    • Posted

      thank you lily have just looked this up, will mention it and some other suggestions to my gp when i get my appointment and see what he says, if no joy will have a go myself.
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  • Posted

    I'm in to week 7 😢 On day of Vertigo I got in to see the Dr and he said BPPV. Went back two weeks later and said I don't feel right walking (bit better now) and get head wooshes but no vertigo thankfully, just feel like I'm swaying or off kilter a bit. Waiting for ENT appointment on 6thApril. Dr is sending me for MRI too as it was BPPV but now as no spins he says not classic symptoms. I'm an emotional mess wondering if I'm going to be like this now forever. Single parent, kids and work part time 😩😩

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    • Posted

      Hi Julie, I'm not an expert on this but in my experience (of two BPPV attacks) that's how it goes as the condition resolves. The classic spinning attacks gradually lessen in frequency and intensity, just leaving the general walking-on-a-boat thing. I'm in week 9 of my current attack and still getting spinning if I lean forwards or backwards (especially backwards and towards the affected side) but it doesn't last as long now. I've even been able to put my head backwards on occasion without getting any spinning at all. However, I'm still not completely steady when walking and feel vaguely sea-sick all the time, though that's gradually wearing off too.

      The same thing happened in my last attack nearly 30 years ago. I eventually stopped getting actual spinning but stayed sea-sick for a long time afterwards. I don't think GPs are always that knowledgeable about vestibular problems but if he's offering an MRI why not go for it?

      Try not to get too despondent as it will eventually resolve if it's just BPPV, and you won't stay like this for ever. (Though it may come back from time to time.) And try not to get too tense and anxious. Too much tension in the neck muscles can cause another kind of dizziness.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Lily, you've given me a bit of hope. I was lucky to only have 3 very quick bouts of true Vertigo on day one, no Vertigo since which is why the Dr said not clsssic symptoms. I can turn my head etc with no issue (no Vertigo) i cannot believe I'm now on week 7 still with after affects as it were. I'm going to attend the MRI as a precaution and will still go to ENT (both within a couple of days of each other so dreading it). I've done lots of research on the different inner ear problems and don't fall in to any really apart from the original BPPV diagnosis. Hope we both feel 100 percent soon x

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  • Posted

    BPPV can go over on its own,  but yours tend to persist episodically. 

    If this is indeed BPPV, and this is getting in the way of your life, then you may want to consider surgery, which involves plugging the semicircular canals in the inner ear.

    Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

    Clinical Neurophysiologist,

    Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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