Vertigo ruining my health and career.

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Hello guys,

After reading various online resources on Vertigo. I am not able to pinpoint the condition I seem to have. I get some symptoms of benign positional paroxysmal vertigo and some symptoms of Neuro Ocular vestibular dysfunction. I need an opinion from you guys.

Around a year or so ago, I started feeling dizzy when I would rotate my neck or if I would climb a ladder and look up.I got prolonged spells of dizziness without any apparent trigger. A trip to the ENT doc and he said there was no infection in the ear, gave me some meds and did some blood work which was clear.

I was okay after that but I noticed I still could never rotate my head without getting dizzy. I noticed that if I worked more than a couple of hours on the computer although I used to work longer hours before, I would get a headache and feel dizzy.

Fast forward one year. Now, from two or three months, I am simply unable to work on the computer for more than half an hour. It triggers episodes of dizziness. Scrolling makes me feel the worst.Even I can't watch any videos on my mobile or even browse and read on mobile for a longer period as it causes dizziness. This makes me think along the lines of neuro ocular vestibular dysfunction but I don't have any photosensitivity and it seems a vital component of it.

Also, If I climb a ladder and look up and do some work, it causes repeated brief spells of dizziness. For example, cleaning a ceiling fan. And if I rotate my head like you do at warm up before a sport, I can't do it coz of dizziness. I have never had any head injury for the record. Also, I often feel that I'm moving slightly front and back when sitting without back support and I have asked my wife and she says that I'm actually moving a little front and back.

I have had enough of this journey of Vertigo. After going through multiple ENT guys and Ophthalmologists who were not really trained to diagnose or treat vertigo, I have finally found an otolaryngeologist who specialises in treating vertigo. I have talked to him over the phone and it feels reassuring. He says that he takes 4 sessions of 3 hours each for Vertigo cases which involves taking detailed case history, running some tests and the treatment. But, I have to wait over a month for his appointment. Meanwhile, I would love to have an opinion from you guys.

Thank  you for hearing my story.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I can't say what your diagnosis might be and it sounds like you've ended up finding the help you need anyway. I can, however, say that many people on these boards, like me, have been badly let down by ENT doctors. Some managed to get themselves referred to neurotologists (or otoneurologists, depending where you are in the world) which seems to be the gold standard for this kind of thing.

    I've had BPPV twice in my life. The first time I saw an ENT doctor who performed a manoeuvre that only made it worse. But BPPV eventually resolves of its own accord anyway. When my second attack started two months ago I initially saw another ENT, who was only interested in the fact that I had wax in one ear. I then went to my GP, who sent me to a physiotherapist who specialises in vestibular disorders. He performed the same manoeuvre, and completely fixed me in a 20-minute session last week. I've been fine ever since, apart from a slight headache. But I think this was mainly brought on by all the manipulations of my arthritic neck.

    I think the important thing is to see someone who really understands, and has an interest in, vestibular disorders, whatever their discipline.

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  • Posted

    Go online and google the half somersault manuever. It sounds like BPPV to me which is what I have. I do this at home and find relief from it.
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  • Posted

    I have a bulging neck disc which I think causes position vertigo when I look upwards, called top shelf vertigo.  I also have BPPV in left ear so when I lay backwards and roll to left side lots of spinning sensations in my head.  I also have silent migraines which causes visual vertigo.  All started a few years ago one night when i rolled over in bed and then escalated to falling flat on the floor losing all my balance.  Eventually saw an otoneurologist who told me not to get the BPPV mixed up with the silent migraines.  Am now 80% improved on nortriptyline for the silent migraines, but still get BPPV but never as bad as when it first started.  Flying also affects my ears.  My neck and ears are my weak spot which are now sensitive to all movement.  I have done quite well compensating for the disturbance.  Hope you get some answers soon.  It takes a while to find someone to give you a proper diagnosis. 
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    • Posted

      Anne, have you ever been offered treatment for BPPV in the special chair that puts your head through all the movements necessary for the Epley manoeuvre, but moving your entire body so your head always stays in the same plane as your spine? This is completely safe for people with neck pathologies. I think they only have a handful of them in any given country, but if ever I got BPPV again I'd certainly opt for that, rather than undergoing another manual Epley. I know they have one at a private vertigo clinic in the city where I live.

      In the event, last week's manual Epley was entirely successful from the point of view of getting my wayward crystals back into their proper place, but it's left me with a lot of neck pain, together with headaches. I know this is simply the result of all the twisting and turning of my arthritic neck and will wear off in time. However, in your case there's obviously no way you could stand the manual manoeuvre.

      The Epley wouldn't cure you of the silent migraines but I think it would stop the spinning on lying down and getting up.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily  I had the epley manoeuvre twice without success, but was definitely diagnosed with BPPV due to the reaction it caused.  I also bought a dizzy fix hat from the internet where it helped you do your own epley but the consultant told me to throw it in the bin basically.  It caused more problems than it cured.  I have never been in the spinning chair, and as I have recurrent bouts of BPPV i just wait for the crytals to dissolve on their own.  My bouts of BBPV have reduced but still recur. Nortriptyline has been very effective with the silent migraines and being aware of what foods trigger it most, like cheese and chocolate, in small amounts I am improving.  Moderation in everything.  I would never have believed you could get silent migraines so when the consultant told me I wasn't convinced, but now I know he was correct.  I just get the visual auras of a migraine and usually after eating the trigger foods. I am much better informed now so try to do the best I can to help myself.  It all kicked off when I started the menopause.  He said the oldest patient he had with silent migraines started when the patient was 90 years old.

      Agree, my neck is arthritic and I would now be very reluctant to allow anyone to manipulate it.  I spent over 2 years going to ENT and the otoneurologist told me I had wasted 2 years and had I been referred to him sooner I could have healed my silent migraines sooner and never to get the 2 conditions mixed up.  I can live with the BPPV but when the silent migraines also kicked it I was in a bit of a state for over  a month and thought I would have to give up working as could barely walk in a straight line, thankfully over time and knowing what I'm dealing with I am much improved.  I am no longer attending ENT or seeing the consultant as have been discharged.

      I hope you feel better soon. Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Hello Anne,

      you mentioned that flying affects your ears, in which way? Are you still able to get on a plane? I would love to take a 2-3 hr flight but am worried it may set off silent migraine symptoms. Any strategies to help ease symptoms on a flight? Thanks.

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    • Posted

      I bought some ear plugs which seemed to make no difference.  It takes my ears about 3 days to recover from feeling of fullness caused by flying.  I still fly twice a year on a four hour flight.  Some flights are better than others, I think it depend on how quickly the plane descends for landing, as sometimes it makes my ears hurt.  I try to keep my ears unblocked by pinching my nose and blowing and chewing gum, but i don't know if it makes any difference really.

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  • Posted

    It sounds like the latter doctor takes neurotology very seriously.  Well worth waiting for.

    Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

    Clinical Neurophysiologist

    Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      You mention episodes of positional vertigo. It has many causes, which should be clarified at the clinical examination. It could be BPPV, an artery pressing on a nerve, or other causes.

      Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD FEAN

      Clinical Neurophysiologisy

      Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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