Unexplained dizziness for 3 months no definite diagnosis yet.

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi all,

I've been browsing these forums a little bit on and off for a while and finally decided to post as I am at wits end. I am currently living abroad teaching ESL. About 1 year ago I had an ear infection. After the ear infection resolved I noticed the sensation of fullness in my ear lingered. I went to an ENT who thought it was "E-tube dysfunction". She gave me some medication which I took, but I saw no improvement. Then I more or less gave up on it as it was just an annoying feeling, not anything serious. Now about 3 months ago I was teaching and had a random attack of dizziness. I went through the rest of the day just waiting for class to be over because I felt so ill. I figured it was because I had some drinks the night before and my body was coping with that. I went home went to bed early and woke up the next day still dizzy. This time I left work early. I have had constant dizziness ever sense. After the initial attack, the dizziness was always present ,but was manageable (I didn't feel comfortable unless my hand was resting on some solid surface, which was annoying but tolerable) so I went about 2 months without seeing a doctor. Then all of a sudden it got worse. I ended up going to see an ENT who did some hearing tests and said my hearing was normal. I then went to work and half way though my first class got extremely dizzy and left straight to the ER. The ER doctor told me it must be "some ear or brain" problem gave me 2 injections (no idea what they were he just said "to help your dizziness" and sent me on my way with little follow up advice and no testing. Two days passed and the same thing happened again. This time I made it through work, but went directly to the ER after. This time I went to a different hospital (I also discovered the hospital I had been going to had a bad reputation among locals so, this time I went to a new hospital.) This ER actually did blood work and a CT scan which were both normal. They recommended I follow up with a neurologist. I went to a neurologist 2 days later. The neurologist said he didn't think it had anything to do with my brain but, that it was probably something to do with my inner ear. He prescribed me diphenidol and betahistine and told me to come back in a week if I wasn't better (this neurologist worked out of the same hospital that had a bad reputation but I had already made an appointment there so decided to keep it). A week passed and I did feel about 50% better with the medication, but still not great so I went back. I saw a different neurologist this time because the one I saw the first time wasn't in that day. This neurologist told me dizziness usually only lasts a day and goes away. I reminded him that this had been going on for 2 months. He told me that the medications I was taking were not to be taken for the long-term. but represcribed the betahistine suggesting I try and stop taking it if I could. Well I waited until I had a vacation to stop taking it (because I was nervous it would affect my work) and found no improvement at all. Now this week (going on 3 months now) I am noticing that the medicines don't seem to be helping much at all anymore. Does anyone have any idea what this could be? So far I haven't been diagnosed with anything except "we think it's your inner ear" and on my receipts, it says "unspecified vestibular dysfunction". I was concerned initially that it was meniere's disease especially with the doctor prescribing betahistine ,but he didn't mention that one. From my understanding Meniere's consists of aural fullness (which I feel that I have) hearing loss (subjectively I have hearing loss ,but objective testing at the ENT showed no hearing loss) tinnitis (I don't have tinnitis) and vertigo spells (I wouldn't call what I have vertigo or spells it's more of a constant unbalanced feeling and feeling a little "woozy"wink. After researching I'm wondering if it could be labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis. I started doing some VRT exercises I found on youtube today and I'm hoping that will help. I do go see a new neurologist at a different hospital in two days, but am nervous I'm going to have the same thing happen (be given symptomatic medications with no diagnosis or long term cure/treatment). Has anyone had a similar experience? How long did it take you to feel better and did VRT help? The exercises I found online definitely provoked dizziness (made me nauseous to the point that I vomited) should I keep trying them until I find out if there is anywhere nearby I can see a VRT therapist?  Sorry for the long post (that was also a vent session). I'm completely overwhelmed with this and it is starting to make me depressed as well so any help is appreciated! 

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  • Posted

    Menieres when it first shows up may not have significant hearing loss. Neurotologist is who you need to see. Unfortunately more testing as well. VNG testing will tell more
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  • Posted

    Socah, I agree with the other poster. I would say though that you shouldn't be doing the "exercises" you found on-line. You don't say what they were. If it's stuff like the Epley or half-somersault manouevre they're specific for BPPV, which it doesn't sound as if you have. They won't do you any harm but they'll probably make you feel worse.

    Do they have any specialist vertigo centres where you are? This would be the kind of place you need to get yourself to, as they'd have the full range of specialists to diagnose you.

    I hope you soon find some answers. I know from personal experience how debilitating vertigo can be.

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    • Posted

      I don't think there are any specialist centers near me. The exercises I've been doing are not for BPPV to my knowledge. I posted a link ,but it was deleted. It's mostly eye exercises standing and sitting and one walking heel to toe. 

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    • Posted

      The problem I had is the excersises didn't help at all cause if the fluid in my inner ear. What I was told. Doc gave me a script from or a diuretic. It still hasn't helped tho. Think they may have to step up to a more aggressive treatment. I was told yesterday ,The primary I been seeing since august used me as a case study. Guess I am famous now. Lol.

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  • Posted

    Yes i agree,with both Lily,and 'Bill. You need,to,see,a,Neuro,Otologist,,who deals,with vestibular,problems. You don't have to feel 'dizzy' as such to experience Vertigo

    Symtoms. ENT's are ear nose and throat, but not alwasy very conversnat with vestibulr probs. And Neurologists  i really  deal with Brain stuff, injuries etc. The two,combine as the messages are conflicting from your three senses that give us Balance.,eyes, ears and vestibular system, and they will do much more testing wise. What country are you in are you covered with insurance etc?

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    • Posted

      Gillian, that's not actually correct. That's just an ear, nose and throat specialist. Or more correctly, that word wouldn't even include the nose. The full word is otorhinolaryngologist. I think they use that term in the US. "Oto-" is the root for ear, "rhino-" for nose and "laryngo-" for throat, or more strictly larynx. They use a version of this word in French, so to us an ENT doctor is called an ORL.

      It has to have the root "neur-" or "neuro-" in it somewhere to be a neurotologist - if that's what it's called in English. I'm more familiar with the French otoneurologue but I guess it's the same thing, just back to front!

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    • Posted

      Some of the bigger facilities have a neurotologist in the offices of the ENT who they can consult with about your case. The one I go to is in a office with ENT's in a university hospital.

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    • Posted

      Yes I see this. I had to go a hour and a half away from my house to one of these facilities. They are few and far between even where I live. It's a specialty that not to many places have.

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    • Posted

      Yup - they're simply ENT guys. ENT doctors should know how to treat vestibular disorders and I'm sure many have a good track record. However, some of the posts on these boards suggest seeing an ENT doctor is a bit of a lottery.

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    • Posted

      Yes agree,,to a point. The fact remains that Neuro,Otologists have to do extra four more years of training than an ENT (My Neuro,Otologist At the National Hospital in London told me this) ENT drs do not have to train in Vestibular/neuro, disorders so  anything they [u]do[/u] know is what they have read up,on, but not actually certified in?
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    • Posted

      Precisely Gillian. You might get lucky and stumble across one who has an interest in vestibular work and has done extensive personal study, but then again you might not! So... a lottery. I can't say I had any luck with the two ENTs I saw during my two episodes of BPPV, but that might just be my experience. I found the specialist physio I saw yesterday far more knowledgeable than either of the ENTs. Actually, my GP also seems to know more about vestibular issues than either of the ENTs I saw.

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    • Posted

      Yep i'm with you there! I also saw two seperate ENT's complete waste,of my time! Although my GP's are not  very conversant in it either tbh! I usually have to 'tell' them, prefacing my comments for their ego, to, '...as you know...'!!

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