What could be causing my sensations of motion sickness/dizziness??

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Hello all, firstly some things about myself. Im 20 years old and fairly athletic/active, I weight lift at least 4 times a week and my diet is generally healthy for the most part. I take great pride in my physical fitness. My problem started about 2 to 3 months ago...I was running at the gym around 11 at night and came home went to bed and woke up and was completely dizzy, everything was spinning; I couldnt do anything that day and I had to skip classes. I said ok whatever Ill sleep it off and for the next couple of days after that i was fine and then about a week later I noticed that I was having a constant feeling of motion sickness/floaty feeling in my head through out the entire day and this has been going on for about 2-3 months now. Some days are better than others but there is no way to predict how I will feel day to day. It is also important to note that at some point during all of this I remember waking up with really sore neck from sleeping on it funny or something but I didnt pay much attention to it because I didnt think it could be related to my feelings of motion sickness/dizziness. The neck pain was only painful if i turned it a certain direction so I think it was probably a strained muscle or pinched nerve. So a week or two went by and I finally went to the doctors to see what was wrong with me, we did blood tests, an ekg, and echo of my heart and all came back clean. The doctor performed all the motor function tests and all was well. So after all that I kinda just dealt with it for a couple weeks but then I noticed that my neck felt tired/strained through the day and the discomfort in my neck became more noticeable as time went on. So after school was over I cam home to see my family doctor to see what his opinion was and he didnt notice anything wrong with other than the fact that he said I had mild scoliosis with about half an inch curve in my back or something along those lines(first time I was told this). He said that my sensation of motion sickness could be attributed to stress or anxiety which is strange because nothing occurred during all of this that was overly stressful. At this point all of my symptoms began to take a heavy toll on me mentally because my symptoms were keeping me from doing things that I like to do on a daily basis. I would feel tired all day long no matter how much sleep I would get and I would just feel a complete lack of motivation to do anything. I began having mild bouts of anxiety attacks about my symptoms I believe; I have never experienced anxiety/stress of this magnitude before so this was all new to me. I began to think that my symptoms were related to this because so far no diagnosis has been made. The only things that seemed to help my symptoms were to be busy or occupied with something else to keep my mind off of it, the symptoms were generally more noticeable at night. So after I came home for the summer I was feeling better for about a week and then I started my computer desk job and my motion sickness came back full force. I began to notice tingling/pins and needles sensation shooting up the left side of my face and in my arms and legs. So I thought for sure this was due to some neck issue so I had an mri done of my neck and brain and of course everything came back normal. I also went to the eye doctor to see if any vision problems were causing my problems but everything was fine. My doctor also gave me a 25mg prescription of zoloft to "calm" be down a bit but I have noticed any change really. So at this point I have no idea what to do or pursue any more as my motion sickness/dizziness could be caused by any number of the  things I described above. Im not sure how much more of this I can take mentally or physically. Any advice, suggestions, help or experiences would be greatly appreciated because Im lost at this point. Also feel free to ask questions because Im sure I forget or left things out in the description. Thanks!

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  • Posted

    The dizziness that you mentioned in the beginning when you woke up, how long did this last?  Did it leave after one day or several days?

    Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

    Clinical Neurophysiologist

    Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      If I remember correctly it was mostly gone by late afternoon. Like I said it was very severe in the morning and everything is spinning, now Im just left with a faint sense of motion sickness/dizziness(without the spinning).

      Thanks for the reply.

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    • Posted

      I am not sure what this might be.  It does not sound like an episode of vestibular neuritis followed by poor compensation, as the episode did not last for longer than a day.  You need to be examined in detail by an ENT doctor with a special interest in neurotology, or a neurotologist, in order to get to the bottom of this.

      Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou, PhD, FEAN

      Clinical Neurophysiologist

      Fellow of the European Academy of Neurology

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    • Posted

      Im not very familiar with issues regarding the inner ear but is it possible for these things to happen without having any sort of pain or discomfort in the ear? Seeing an ENT is my next order of business.

      Thanks

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  • Posted

    I feel the same way. Except I really experienced the spinning of room. Just the off balance unsteady motion sickness swaying feeling . Been dealing with this for 6 years now ..its gotten worse...where it's all day everyday ...the last 3 years. Seen many Dr's I've had so many MRIs blood Work EKGs ENT Dr's . This new neurologist gave me Zoloft 25mg ..it hasn't been a month being on med . I also have a hard time being in restaurants stores movies etc..

    It's frustrating ...i wake up exhausted and I know I slept..i just had a sleep study done ...didnt sleep much I was too stressed out and had anxiety due to other problems. I'll know how that went when I see my Dr this coming Wed. My neck would hurt so bad too and headaches ...horrible. the last neurologist have gave me topamax for headaches and it's helped a lot. I still get them but not as often and not as bad . I also get palpitations so I take med for that. I have a cardiologist too ... my head always feels like it's on a raft..some pressure. I can't even stand in my closet to pick out clothes cause looks like clothes are swaying back and forth and that throws me off . I also noticed when it's close to my time of month it gets really bad that I just cry ..feels like my brain is going crazy ... sorry too much info .

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily, Im only a couple months into my symptoms and I cant even imagine dealing with it for much longer that that. By no means am I an expert in this area as Im still a noobie when it comes to these types of symptoms haha. I also wonder if these are all mind games becuase I think my anxiety and stress make everything worse.I plan on seeing an ENT or neurologist soon to see what they say as I am still in the process of ruling things out. I hope you find yourself comfort/relief!
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    • Posted

      Sorry I just noticed my typo... I don't experience spinning of room . Once in a while I feel that dizziness when I wake up or depends how I move my head ... I guess. Yeah .. crazy mind games . Thanks hope you feel better soon too

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  • Posted

    Hi can you do this test for me this what the ENt ask me to do stand on the spot with your eyes closed with your arms out straight still marching the spot count to 40 then open your eyes you should stop in the centre l bet you will turn left. The ENt said I've got a weak balance system

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  • Posted

    I feel exactly as you do although only spasmodically.   But the anxiety/panic attacks came when I went out, thinking I would become dizzy and could not get home.    I ended up in outpatients and they diagnosied anxiety panic, doc put me on Prestiq very low dose and I have been much better going out now and if I think about it I push it out of my mind.    The neck is part of my problem I think, the crystals in the ear move occasionally with various head movements, I only sleep on one side, right side, so that when I get out of bed I don't have to turn my head.    I find ginger tablets good, also the wrist bands to help movement when travelling in car, bus, etc.  But unfortunately I do not have the answeers I wish I did, and the medical profession seem  unable to help so many people suffering.   Good luck and keep posting.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying, I too suffer from anxiety but not because of fear of becoming dizzy but more so because no one knows what's wrong with me and the fear that this will never go away. I only feel better when I'm busy or the symptoms subside just enough that I forget about it but when they flare up again the circle begins all over again.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to read you are going through this. I have similar symptoms but it appears mine are due to silent migraines. I do have chronic neck pain, very stiff neck muscles that frequently spasm. I have finally found an awesome physiotherapist who knows how to properly massage the area. If I see her regularly, she helps immensely in reducing the dizziness. You might want to read about cervicogenic dizziness. Reason why I am suggesting this is you mentioned you weight trained, perhaps you have irritated the muscles. I am not discounting any possible ear issues, so as another post pointed out, seeing a neurotologist would be a good idea too. Hope you are feeling better soon as I get how debilitating this can be.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply, I just looked over a recent MRI report and it stated that I have "mild straightening of the of the cervical spine" not really sure what this means yet but maybe this is the root cause of my neck discomfort and hopefully my dizziness as well, at this point I'm just hoping for a diagnosis so I can begin a plan of attack haha. Hope you are well.

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    • Posted

      Well that's interesting...mild straightening of the cervical spine. I started reading up on that and am now thinking, maybe that is what is causing my neck pain, dizziness and headaches. I have been under a lot of stress, combined with neck strain looking at computer and cell phone, may be the cause of neck pain. With me, pain was so bad that I lost consciousness and all tests were normal so I am thinking that blood vessels were so constricted. My chiropractor has said that she is having more younger patients coming in to her office complaining of neck strain. She can only attribute it to the unnatural positioning of the neck while texting, gaming, computer use. Makes sense. Do try and get yourself a remedial massage, if done properly, you will feel how great your neck will feel, so relaxed. One kind of forgets what "relaxed" feels like. It does take more than one session. You might want to try meditating too. Didn't think it would work for me, but after a few attempts, I could see what all the hype was about. I too used to lift weights and unfortunately, can now only use ridiculously small weights, hope that will change in time. Also another post talked about the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle. If you haven't read up on it, take the time to do that. Makes it easier to understand the havoc this muscle can play on different systems in your body if it is tensed/strained. Let me know how it goes with you. Thank you for sharing. I learned something new from your post. Take care.

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    • Posted

      It makes sense for me too due to my computer desk job, studying at school, etc. I can say that looking down does put uncomfortable strain on my neck, it almost even feels like my head wants to look down perhaps because of tense muscle or stiffness. If you havnt already try putting books under your monitor so you dont have to look down as much, helps a little for me. I think in high anxiety situations the neck muscles can tense up as well and sometimes people don't even notice it does. In regards to the SCM muscle most of my discomfort comes from the base of the head where that muscle attaches, so this is a possibility as well. Just super frustrating as all these symptoms can stem from various problems and I tend to self diagnose and paired with anxiety just does not mix well, guess all we can do is put one foot in front of the other though. I have an ENT appointment this week for the first time and I plan on getting PT for my neck because I doubt it will get better on its own at this point. Hope you are well! Keep posting!

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    • Posted

      Lol, short of suspending myself from the ceiling, u should see the creative ways I try to alleviate neck strain when looking at my monitor, then the keyboard becomes the issue. At home, have to try out those adjustable & mobile computer stands and try standing while im looking at the computer. Might give me a break. Yes, same here, neck, lower jaw, and back of head. Hope all goes well with the ENT specialist and this all is due to muscle tension, lesser of all evils I suppose. PT should help you out, but don't be discouraged if you are not happy at first shot. Took me a while to find the right one who "gets it". I will be asking for a neck xray this week, will be interesting to see what the results are. Will let you know the outcome. Take care.

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    • Posted

      Alright saw an ENT yesterday as he suspects I have vestibular neuritis. The one day when I had everything was spinning really bad about 3 months ago is when he thinks i got the problem over night. So now I'm just dealing with the residual aftermath of the ordeal as the brain "recalibrates". He said this process takes about 3 to 6 months for the brain to sort out the bad and good signals from the ear....at least this is how he explained it. So hopefully I will start to feel better in the near future. I still plan on doing therapy for my neck as I think this makes it worse also.

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    • Posted

      Good to read you made some headway with this. Did he suggest vestibular rehabilitation/therapy? I hope you feel better soon, keep a positive attitude, things will get better for you.
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    • Posted

      Thank you! I feel somewhat at peace now that I have an idea of what this is. He gave me an order for ENG, he said they were more balance tests to rule out other inner ear problems. He did not mention anything like that so I will have to ask about that. I'd like to try and speed this process up instead of waiting for it to fix itself haha.

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    • Posted

      Yeah for sure, I've read other posts and actually my physiotherapist said that the longer one waits to get started with vestibular therapy, the longer it will take to "retrain" the brain. So def ask ur dr about that.

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    • Posted

      There are a variety of balance exercises they do, difficult for me to capture in this post. Google vestibular rehabilitation therapy (vrt) and you will find a lot of info on this. Youtube has a lot of examples but be careful with this as you want to do exercises safe for your condition. When you visit your dr, see if he/she thinks you would benefit from this therapy. If so, find a physiotherapy clinic that specializes in vestibular rehabilitation therapy. Have a nice day biggrin
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