My Dad has suffered from dizziness / severe vertigo for 4 years with no diagnosis. Anyone help?

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My Dad started having dizzy spells around 4 years ago. He has been to ear specialists, private doctors and had private scans at Bupa.

He has been told several different things by doctors; Vertigo with medication prescribed, that hasn't worked. The dizzy spells continue. Arteries in the head are clogged and not enough oxygen or blood into the brain / head.

He has dizzy spells everyday and when it happens, he feels sick, ears go blocked, loosing balance and the urgent need to go to the toilet with a buzzing noise in ears afterwards.

Can anyone help or advise if they have been in this situation before and what they have done?

Thanks

Brad

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Brad, are the Dr's saying that the blood flow to the brain is causing these symptoms? If so, I'd think that he'd be having other stroke-like symptoms in addition to the dizziness. We are not Dr's on here, but that was something my neurologist told me when I asked about that condition (I do not have that condition). Perhaps something else is causing the symptoms. Sounds like he's been to many Drs. I assume he's had a workup for Menieres disease? Testing for Menieres involves a VNG/Caloric test, but it can be normal in between attacks. If it were me, I'd want clarification on if this blood flow insufficiency was causing the symptoms, and what they were planning to do about it. I hate to say find more Drs, but if you can find the right one who specializes in dizziness/balance disorders- not just a regular ENT, maybe he can get help. It could be bilateral Menieres...I've read that some have urgent bowel issues during attacks and/or diarrhea. I hope your dad can get some help soon. I personally know what it's like to see multiple Dr's with different theories- very frustrating.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lizzy, very much appreciate your reply. I will definitely get him to speak with his doctor regarding Menieres disease, as it's not something they have previously mentioned or tested for! I'll let you know the outcome. Thanks again, Brad

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  • Posted

    DizzyLizzy reply is spot on. Also, what sticks out to me is everyday episodes for four years? Has he had whiplash, back issues? The specifics are very important in your dad's case. What is his dizziness exactly...unbalanced or spinning? Exactly what time it occurs, what he is eating or doing prior, what is his blood pressure, has he tried squatting when it happens? Does he have any other symptoms in the body, any pain, numbness tingling, heat intolerance etc? I have POTS and MAV, when I am flaring I can relate to the everyday episodes around the same time, feeling sick, blocked ears, buzzing noise, but lots of other crappy things too. Have his blood been taken? Any vitamin deficiencies?

    I know you have said he has seen a lot of Dr's but have you considered a Naturopath? Perhaps chiropractor just for an x-ray....there is always more to the story but it seems you have to be willing to dig and fight for care when it comes to vertigo/dizzy related, dizziness is only a symptom, not a diagnosis.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jack. The way he describes the dizziness is like the world is spinning, if he doesn't sit down he will loose his balance as it happens. He does have a heat intolerance, only when it occurs.

      He also has a history of high blood pressure (which runs in the family), eats relatively well and does not drink alcohol or smoke. It happens at various times throughout the day, but never when he's asleep. 9 out of 10 times it happens when he's sitting either at work or at home. He has been to see a Naturopath but not a chiropractor. So will be worth a visit no doubt.

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    • Posted

      He could try a low sodium diet. Menieres patients are often advised to keep daily sodium levels between 1500 and 2000mg a day, and to avoid sodium fluctuations. This would also help his high blood pressure. Other foods should be avoided like MSG. Look up Menieres diet online.

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  • Posted

    Also- I forgot to ask. How long do the attacks last? Is he perfectly fine between attacks? Does he ever experience fluctuating hearing loss?

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    • Posted

      I'll look into the Menieres diet and see if that makes a difference for him. He has cut out all processed meats, including anything containing MSG. His attacks normally last anywhere between a couple of seconds to the longest lasting a couple of hours. He's ok if he's sat down. When he went to the ENT last they said he had a perforated ear drum which was old and occurred a few years before the attacks started. Whether it's coincidence or not, the attacks started around 10 months after my Mom passed away.

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  • Posted

    It's the hearing symptoms that make me think something like Menieres. Atypical migraine can also cause similar attacks to Menieres- even with hearing symptoms. Stress can make either worsen diseases or cause them to manifest, so that may be a factor. The only dizzy condition I can think of that is directly linked to anxiety or depression is Persistent Postural-perceptual Dizziness. It can come on after a true vestibular attack, but more so involves a sense of swaying or balance issues when standing or walking. Not really true vertigo, so I don't think this is what's going on. Every ENT I've ever seen tests me right off the bat for Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). It is the most common type of vertigo., especially in older people. It is tested for by the Dr doing a maneuver where they turn your head and lay your head back and down. I will assume he's had this done many times. I can't imagine an ENT not doing it, but thought I'd mention. I think the most important test for him is the VNG/Caloric test. It involves wearing goggles that track eye movements associated with dizziness (nystagmus) while looking at various things, and doing various maneuvers. The caloric test involves hot/cold air or water put into the ear to elicit vertigo. Dampened response indicates vestibular damage. Not sure if he could have this test on the side with the perforated ear drum. Where does your dad live?

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    • Posted

      Hi Lizzy, yeah he's had the BPPV test and in the last couple of days he has been back to the doctors and been referred to a different ENT. He lives in Birmingham, UK. Hopefully he gets seen to soon as he's fed up now. I'll keep you posted, but thank you very much for sharing your own experiences. Its helped greatly!

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  • Posted

    i think you should look up dizzy clinics in your area. these clinics specialize in finding the correct diagnosis. i have found a regular ENT or regular nuerologist unable to diagnose these disorders. nuero-ontologist, or otolaryngologist is who your father in law should see. these doctors will be able to do the caloric testing, will be able to figure out if its meneires, vestibular migraines, VN, labs. so many years and so much suffering. look up these clinics im pretty sure there is at least one in the UK.

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