Question for those who suffer drop attacks

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi, hoping for a little information, would someone be able to tell me what happens when you have a drop attack please, do you drop purely from not being able to balance properly or is it more serious as in not being able to move your legs? does your tinnitus get worse? 

Reason for asking is that that yesterday evening while lying in bed after suffering a vertigo attack around 11am the tinnitus in my affected ear suddenly got worse, and by worse I mean it was so loud I wanted to scream, But I found I couldnt even talk to tell my partner what was happening, or move my body for a few seconds until the tinnitus had died away (or back to its normal background level anyway) Im wondering if what I suffered was a drop attack (albeit while lying down if that makes sense) or If I had dropped off and it was a touch of sleep paralysis (doesnt explain the tinnitus though)

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  • Posted

    Hi, Before my drop attacks my tinnitus escalates dramatically and this is a warning sign of an impending attack. From this point I begin to feel vey nauseous and everything starts spinning wildly and i always lay down on the floor before my legs give way and i literally 'drop'.  Within a minute the spinning is so bad it is impossible to focus on anything and there I lay for many hours waiting fir the vomitting and spinning to stop. Any movement is nigh on impossible as it causes more sickness. During severe drop atracks i have also lost control of both my bladder and bowel. 

    You do not mention any spinning that accompanied your tinnitus atrack and it is this that causes MD sufferers to 'drop' , well that is how i see it. Be thankful for this as it is, for me, by far the worst part of the disease and incredibly distressing. It takes about four days for me to recover from my 'drop' attacks and fir the tinnitus to return to a more acceptable level.

    i wish you well. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, I had no spinning or vomiting at the time this happened, just a sudden drastic spike in my tinnitus level so im thinking it wasnt a drop attack, more likely sleep paralysis I think, cant explain the sudden extreme tinnitus though which went as quickly as it had come, will monitor it and see how I get on, am due to see the ent doctor on the 22nd so will mention it then
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    • Posted

      Hi Linda,

      Your description of attacks is exactly what my experience has been except that I don't have much of a warning ... i experience pressure in my ear but i have that regardless of whether I have an attack or not.

      I was diagnosed a few months ago and have been suffering for a little over a year. This is my first time checking into a forum but I do not know anyone else who has this disease. 

      The other day, I was out shopping when my world started spinning, no balance, i couldn’t walk and fell over trying - with help i ended up vomiting behind the checkout counter - poor girl, it was her first day - she called for help and they got me out to the car and loaded in my things. I drove to the shady part of lot at sat there deep breathing as i vomited and peed all over myself. 

      finally took an agonizing hour driving the usual 20 min home vomiting, dry heaving and peeing all the way …  i had to focus my eyes on the lines on the road as the dizziness made it difficult to to  look up … knew it was dangerous cause i had several intense moments of disorientation- i would pull the car over and wait ... i guess i could have called 911 but i had my dog, Sophie, in the car and my other dog, Sadie, was at home (I live alone) - i was a ball of sweat, puke and pee when i finally threw myself into bed - i fell over trying walk to the kitchen to get a pail, so i just vomited all over the dog’s beds, any water i drank came up a few minutes later, the spinning, nausea, and vomited lasted about 18 hours … I didn’t sleep except in short spurts, couldn’t keep down any of the meds that were supposed to help - it was horrendous!  Also had major cramping where my legs froze in distorted positions and hurt all through the night due to dehydration.

      It has been 3 days now and I am still completely depleted. This is the second major episode like this that I have had - before they only lasted a few hours and I was exhausted the rest of that day.

      I am wondering if you have found anything that helps either during or after an attack. Has your doctor prescribed any medication for you to take? How often do these episodes occur? I know each person is different but your experience is the most like mine than anyone I have read.

      Thanks so much for reading all this and I hope to hear back from you.

      Kathleen 

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  • Posted

    Drop attacks are due to loss of tone in the muscles, or background force if you like.  This is related to a direct communication between the vestibular system of the inner ear and the spinal cord, called the vestibulospinal tract.  The episode will be like a temporary paralysis if you are lying down.

    Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

    Clinical Neurophysiologist

    Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      thank you for your reply, would this account for lack of speech too or am I still right in hoping it was a bout of sleep paralysis? I also had no room spin or sickness and im back to normal today
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    • Posted

      Vestibulospinal and corticospinal (voluntary control pathway) both go to the same motor neurons (nerves).  Drop attacks could therefore cause a temporary cessation of speech, and so it would be difficult at this stage to tell between the two, especially if you have not had sleep paralysis before.  If you had experienced sleep paralysis before, before you had vestibular problems, it would be this more likely.  However, I find the association between tinnitus and your episode noteworthy. Either way, these are temporary episodes, and neither will be permanent.

      Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

      Clinical Neurophysiologist

      Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      After reading your replies I am really confused as my 'attacks' have nothing to do with the loss of tone in my muscles, it is the horrendous spinning that causes me to drop or lie down and i have never had anything remotely resembling paralysis. The reason i cannot move is purely the result of the uncontrollabke spinning of the world around me. As so nany MD sufferers comment 'we all seem to experience MD differently'. 

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  • Posted

    I guess I am a little different in my attacks. I have them when I turn my head one way and my eyes another. Sometimes I will be standing and just collapse. There is usually no vertigo involved, just a sudden loss of control. The noise of my tinnitis is always changing so I can't use that as an indicator very much. I do have to be careful standing up as my legs sometimes want to cramp and lock up, then I have to wait until it stops. Motion seen out of my peripheral vision will also set things off. Fortunately, I have learned and have only had one fall this past month compared to the several I used to take and no serious injury. I do have that freezing you mentioned where I won't be able to move or tell my husband what is going on.. I just have to hold on and wait. I am used to it now and just take precautions although so far, none of these attacks are lasting very long. Everyone experiences MD a little differently. I wish you the best.

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  • Posted

    I have had dozens of drop attacks in the past and for me they were completely different from the insane vertigo attacks which always landed me in hospital.  It is a slow fall to the ground as my legs just collapsed beneath me.  The first drop attack had me on the ground for about five minutes unable to move, thereafter each one became a longer period of inability to move. The mind wanted to, but the body wouldn't.  Invariably they occured when I was out somewhere, twice I experienced a day of paralysis and could only move my eyes.  It goes hand in hand with huge fatigue thereafter.

    My own theory has always been that it was a lack of blood flow to the brain. I have only ever fainted twice in my 68 years and must mention there is not the 'rush' to your head like that experienced with a faint.  Yes, the tinnitus revved up each time prior to a drop attack................the amazingly good news is, I am now virtually cured of menieres disease and have not had a drop attack for years.  The tinnitus is also hardly ever noticeable, so I will say to you there is hope.  I have remained on a very strict diet including lots of ginger and herbs for circulation alongwith daily exercise for at least an hour and regular massages to the neck and shouders by a very trained specialist.  I hope this of some help to you and wish you well. 

     

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  • Posted

    How have you been cured?

     

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  • Posted

    My worst drop attack was in the car (as a passenger).  We were driving along and suddenly the world sort of flipped upside down and I was thrown sideways onto the console between me and my husband.  I had no warning whatsoever of any kind.  I was fine one minute and ready to puke the next and the world was spinning with me leaning over drunkenly.  If I had been standing up I would have dropped like the proverbial stone wherever I was.
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  • Posted

    Hi I have suffered from MD since 2009 had a very big attack2011 was more on the floor than standing up my dad died so stress bought that on.myself and my husband parted but stayed friends because of the children but always held me out with my MD.

    Kept under control till 2014 when big stress hit me again.this time I have had really big attacks with sickness headache and drop attacks, and most of the time I would be incontinence of urine it's really embarrassing.I have now been on the sick for two mths .have now seen my Ent consultant and now they have said I need operation with steroids injection because I now have it in both ears.when will this ever stop.

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    • Posted

      Elaine, hope you find relief soon. My first attack of vertigo was in 2012 at work. Got up from desk and room started spinning. Didn't last long but next attack came on brutal at night in bed as I was trying to fall asleep. Tinnitus was so loud and screechy I cried for two hours. My husband was so upset that he couldn't help me. Let me back up a few months though. Tinnitus started in left ear out of clear blue I noticed I could not hear out of left ear on phone, very distorted. The night of the bad attack I had no spinning. Went to Dr next day and was told I had MD. Hearing test after hearing test and left ear was bad and told to cut sodium under 2300 mg a day but never carried through with that. March 2015 I had another episode. Dr put me on Prednisone for 2 weeks and it helped. Last Monday a week ago I had another spell but this time I was at dinner table and moved my head quickly talking to my husband who was sitting next to me. Tinnitus came on suddenly in other ear! Just felt woozy but not spinning. I did try to go onto bed but felt better sitting in recliner. Then I got nauseous and sweats started. Finally crawled to bed 4 hours later. Went to ENT on Wednesday. Glad I did. Hearing in right ear showed much worse than left. So here I am thinking I am going to be deaf in both ears. Well he sent me home warning about the sodium again and another 2 week graduated dose of Prednisone. I have been religious about charting my sodium intake, keeping it to 1700 my or do and tinnitus is better, not gone but better. 4 more days of prednisone to go so I don't know if that did it or it less sodium definitely helped. I must add that I have been under tremendous stress got the last few months, retiring from job of 25 years, building new home and moving . What scares me is that I could have s sudden vertigo attack while driving. Hope you're feeling better.

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