what kind of vertigo do I have?

Posted , 9 users are following.

My doctors, shrinks, therapists etc all have slightly different opinions on what is making me feel this way. These range from a vestibular disorder caused by a migraine, to BPPV, to just plain ol' anxiety.

October last year I had what was supposedly a migraine (my first known migraine) which included an aura that lost me vision in my right eye and my fingers growing numb and cold. I'm not sure if I've been having migraines since though but if i have been, they haven't been very severe. Since then I've had a nonstop dizziness (11 months of it).

On the side of the anxiety argument is the fact that I've had a couple of panic attacks though that was when all of this was new to me and highly stressful and anxious situations make my dizziness all the more noticeable. I also was experiencing chest pains a lot.

On the side of a dental disorder, one of my adult canine teeth is growing sideways across the top of my mouth which apparently can cause problems (Somehow).

On the side of BPPV, I do find it a lot WORSE when my head is in motion (though i feel it all the time). Though it doesn't seem to be responding to the exercises i was given and from what I've read, BPPV doesn't last 11 months and isn't noticeable when the head is completely still.

My dizziness is not the kind that makes the room spin. It makes me feel off balance especially when i move my head.

Some things i'm not sure are factors are my neck constantly being stiff, headaches that last up to weeks at a time, a feeling off fullness or pressure in my whole head, nausea that seems to follow no pattern and just comes and goes at it pleases.

I would really appreciate anyone letting me know if this sounds all too familiar to yourself and what you know about what I'm going through because no one else seems to.

Thank you.

0 likes, 27 replies

Report / Delete

27 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi Korcy, many disturbances to the balance system are accompanied by a stiff neck and nausea, simply because the various elements of the system aren't able to sync with one another, so I wouldn't read too much into these two symptoms. However it's important (although sometimes difficult) to describe your symptoms as accurately as possible in order to get to a diagnosis, so if you could do that it would help. Also importantly, does your sensation actually make you less stable on your feet, i.e can you stand on one leg with your eyes closed and manage to stay relatively still? And does close work on a smart phone, tablet etc make your head swim?

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      So my dizziness is completely in my head. I feel what i can only call a lag when i turn my head quickly. It's incredibly hard to explain. When my head is still it's even more hard to explain. I know that something is off but i can't place my finger on it. My head will feel full of pressure and heavy. If i have my phone to close to my face it does make me feel a bit dizzy but not until i look away.

      For some reason the computer that i use at my work makes me incredibly dizzy. The reason for that is hard to pin point. It could be the type of monitor, the fact that I had my migraine there and i'm associating work with illness, the lightning of the room i'm working in (its a darker room because i edit photos and need a consistent lighting with no glare).

      My feet are completely stable. I've never worried about falling over because of my dizziness however in complete darkness I feel very unstable and cannot walk in a straight line or without leaning on a wall.

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      On first read your symptoms sound very similar to mine, and having spent quite a few hours going through discussion threads on this site, I've found on examination that symptoms people describe are often vastly different to each other, so it's important to be accurate when making comparisons, as a spurious connection will waste hours of fruitless reading, a bit like social media! I'm now 14 months ih and have undergone all the tests the NHS has to offer apart from the Rotary Chair, which they don't appear to use in my area. 

      Here's how I describe what I'm experiencing:

       I'd describe it my dizziness as a kind of headrush, like an exaggerated sense of movement, predominantly while I'm moving around, although as it's progressed I've begun to feel it regularly when I'm sitting or lying still as a strong swimming sensation inside my head, as if my brain's adjusting its position inside my head. It's easily visually triggered, so my head will swim when I'm working with something directly in front of me; so I find it difficult to read, write, use a smartphone, tablet or P.C, and washing up is a bit of a killer.  Although the condition has worsened steadily over the last 12 months it has never made me feel unsteady on my feet, but because it's balance related, I experience frequent nausea and on bad days all I can do is sit still and try to move around as little as possible."

      If this sounds similar to what you're getting we should talk more because so far I've only found two peope whose symptoms I can make a direct comparison with and one of them stopped posting 2 years ago.

      I'm guessing you're in the U.K, whereabouts are you located?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I would say, just based on what you've described whatever we have is likely the same condition or very similar. I do however have a laundry listen of other symptoms that you did not mention however it's hard to say how many of those are related.

      My frequent headaches are likely due to my neck pain which itself is probably due to bad posture.

      My chest pain is likely due to IBS and since i've eliminated certain foods and started chewing gum regularly it has all but vanished.

      But as you described "an exaggerated sense of movement" kind of hits the nail on the head. My symptoms though haven't followed a steady pattern of getting worse. They tend to come in waves of about 2 weeks or so at a time. 2 weeks of intense dizziness that might be followed by a week or 2 of more manageable or even hardly noticeable dizziness.

      I am however not in the U.K.

      I live in Brisbane, Australia.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Damn! I was hoping you were in Birmingham, would’ve made things a bit easier.

      I’ve seen ENT and neuro consultants as well as balance physios and none of them are particularly familiar with my set of symptoms, as my balance hasn’t been affected and my vestibular tests have come back pretty much A1.

      Very interested to hear you’ve been chewing gum. I noticed a while back that my symptoms all but vanished while I was eating so I started chewing gum and the same thing happens, and The effect is almost immediate. Have you noticed anything similar.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Also, from my experience I’ve been told by several consultants that there are many conditions related to dizziness and balance that doctors simply aren’t able to diagnose, but because they need to manage their patients’ ‘journeys’ they tent to pidgeonhole people presenting with symptoms they can’t explain with anxiety or vestibular migraine. Thankfully I’ve been taken seriously during my investigations and I’ve only had one professional attempt to put my symptoms down to anxiety. I am anxious of course, but only because I’m feeling so unbelievably crap all the time!
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      The gum originally was just to control my chest pains as i read that an increase in saliva production can settle the acid in your stomach which was likely the cause of my chest pains. It does however help when I'm feeling overly dizzy which does lead me to think it could be something to do with my jaw. My 'migraine' happened about a month after i had a lot of dental work done. Also I tend to have a very tense jaw for which i'm getting a sling for and I have a canine tooth growing sideways and recently started to puncture the roof of my mouth. I'm going to the dentists on the 18th to have all that looked at.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I keep my jaw in tension all the time and even when I consciously try to relax it, it soon tenses up again. Don't get any pain or discomfort though. Even so I'd considered a TMJ disorder as a possible cause, but apparently the incidence of dizziness amongst people with disorders of the jaw joint is very low - less than 1% according one survey that I discovered of around 1200 individuals with TMJ disorders. Also asked my dentist if he'd come across anyone with jaw probs experiencing dizziness but he said he hadn't.

      I think the most likely cause for the relief I experience when I chew is down to the fact that my eustachian tubes are constantly equalising any pressure build up or deficit in my middle ear, which in turn apparently has a significant effect on pressure in and around the vestibular system. (Apparently according to research on Meniere's and other related disorders, the vestib. system is extremely sensitive to pressure differences and goes into meltdown if it's not pressurised correctly.)

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    BPPV shouldn't last this long.  I was initially diagnosed with this in he hospital.  I was told it could last a couple weeks.  I ended up back in the hospital with severe vertigo headaches, throwing up violently, I saw the floor on the wall.  I was then diagnosed with vestibular nueritis.  Months later after seeing ENT and Nuero- I kept being told I would get better, I was getting worse even though I was doing vestibular exercises with PT- I asked to try treatment for Vestibular migraines.  I researched this- no doctor mentioned it to me.  I told my doctors my right hand was numb. They were clueless,  I have read that with vestibular migraines it's a symptom with the aura.  I was prescribed nuerotriptiline.  And a beta blocker.  I had immediate relief.  I agree you can have anxiety-going into stores or in crowds with people surrounding me caused me anxiety or just being nervous-I never had this before-I was always pretty normal with no anxiety.  I had catsans MRIs ect. It sounds possible that you could have vestibular migraines.  If you read about it-you can have vertigo or just regular dizzy with no symptoms of a headache but actually have one.  If you aren't seeing doctors that specialize in Vestibular issues- you should.  Ask your doctors to try to treat you for this to see if it helps.  My hand hasn't been numb since I started the meds. I am also taking  magnesium.  My doctor says lots of people with migraines take this- it seems to be helping. I still get a little dizzy here and there- but I rarely need mecclizine anymore.  I had terrible brain fog- was confused for months and I started to realize I had been having headaches-terrible ones behind my eye. I still have trouble in the stores or a passenger in a car- but ok driving myself.  Seriously try to find a doctor Nuero and ENT that specialize in Vestibular disorders.  And ask for treatment for migraines to see if it works- I had to advocate for myself the entire time.  If I didn't- I would still be sitting in a fog not living my life at all. It's sounds very possible it's Vestibular migraines.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Wow. you're symptoms seem to dwarf mine. I do find it interesting that you have a hard time being a passenger in a car but not while driving yourself. That's something i can relate to and can only guess as to why. I have a hard to believing that this is something caused by anxiety alone as it happens from the moment i wake until i sleep, whether i be happy, sad, angry or just apathetic, it's always there. That and the fact that it all started with a migraine kind of keeps bringing me back to the fact that it is likely migraine related. I'm definately going to ask my doctor about some medication specifically for migraines as opposed to all the prozac and zoloft they keep shoving down my throat.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      What I learned is they treat this with norotriptiline or amatriptoline and with a beta blocker blood pressure med too. I have read a lot of people here being told it's anxiety.  No it's not.  I too was dizzy all the time.  Looking up down sideways.  This dizziness was all the time- plus I had to vertigo spells where the world had tilted and I was violently ill. I first was given antibiotics in the hospital for sinusitis.  Then when I returned and was admitted for days- they gave me steroids for a diagnosis of vestibular nueritis. They kept moving the timeline of when I would get better.  I couldn't take care of my child, work, had a hard time speaking too.  This is when I had confusion and brain fog. My PCP knows nothing about this at all. The Nuero initially saw and treated me in the hospital said I might be permanently disabled.  She didn't try to help me at all.  This is what kicked me into high gear of researching myself.  I now have an appointment on the 24th with the director of the vestibular clinic in my major city.  So if you aren't being taken seriously, keep seeing new doctors until someone helps you.  The ENT was so angry at what the Nuero said she prescribed me the nuetripline and got me an appointment with this vestibular expert. She was very concerned about my numb hand. But when I researched vestibular migraines-one website had it as a symptom.  Numb hand or extremity.  I couldn't believe it. That is the aura.  And it says you may get dizzy vertigo ect with vestibular migraines with no headache pain.  I feel so much better.  I still have a little ways to go.  I want to be able to grocery shop and drive in the passenger side and not feel anxious when people are walking behind me.  This is new to me.  I have never had anxiety and I knew it wasn't that. Just know myself. Do you have physical therapists in your area that specialize in Vestibular disorders?? I have one and mine told me not many do.  But it was very helpful.  Now that I can do the exercises-we are now working on doing them with my eyes closed. When I started I couldn't follow simple instructions because of the confusion.  The neortripline has helped so much so I know this is it for me.  I have come to terms that I will have to be on this forever probably.  I'm ok with it -because the alternative was much worse.  I have read people on here for years with being dizzy, vertigo, brain fog and being told it will go away eventually.  I am 4 months into this now.  1 month on the meds and people have told me I am acting myself again.  Ask your doctor- if they say no- ask why? How can it hurt- you are sick, have no life- with no end to this.  It can't hurt to try- what if it works?? 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      LOOk up the symptoms for Vestibular migraines on webmd.com

      this helped me so much.  How can I find this and doctors are stumped? I had every symptom listed. If family members have a history of migraines you need to know.  So ask your family-apparently it's important info- I asked and do have immediate family members that have them.  I had migraines when I was pregnant.  And was treated for this.  I guess I've had them for a while but have ignored it and taken Motrin or Tylenol and pushed thru.  I now can see that I've had them for a while. 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I'm sure there are some doctors in my area that specialize specifically in vestibular disorders. My doctor suggested i go to see a neurologist however they aren't cheap and due to the nature of my dizziness I've had to take more time of work that i'd like to.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi, I’m sorry to hear that you going through a lot. I have similar symptoms to yours but started 4 weeks ago and like I’m living in hell. Night and morning is worse for me, dizziness, vomiting and blurred vision, loosing balance. I feel pressure in my head and eyes,  right side of my neck is stiff and when I turn my head to right it is making worse all the symptoms. I can’t sleep well since dizziness started, several times I wake from numbness in my hands and really fast heartbeat then all symptoms back. Nausea becoming my worst friend. 

    I have seen ENT, physio, GP but not neurologist. Waiting for the MRI scan, as my blood test came clear, CT also clear. 

    I have given betaserk but ENT warned that it won’t work straightaway. Procloperazine is not helpful at all.

    ENT thinks I’m having labyrinthitis, GP said- BPPV, physio- neck problem.

    You are not alone, I do understand your feelings.

    Sometimes I don’t know where to turn to help myself. I can’t drive at the moment, I shopping, school run, cook. etc. 

    Wishing you to soonest recovery. God bless you.Xx

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hello get a neck/head mri to rule out anything else. If that comes clear, it may just be vestibluar related. Amd stress makes it 10x worse. I have a bit of spinal stenosis in my neck which makes my headaches bad. I go to physio for that and it helps. I dot have the spinning vertigo either, just swaying type. I don't think it's bppv from how your explaining your symptoms.

    If mri is clear, get referred to a dizzy clinic. They specialize in these thjngs. Reg docs don't know much. I've been dealing woth it since march.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I forgot to mention. I've had my brain MRI and neck and chest xray, Cervical spine CT. nothing out of the ordinary. which is both good and bad news i suppose. ill have to research 'dizzy clinics' i havent heard of them before..

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up