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.

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  • Posted


    I have a near identical experience. Mine also stemmed from a “migraine” in which my arm went numb and I lost significant vision. I also have the same dizziness that does not ever reach a zero point. I’ve had mine for almost 3 years and have been all over the country in search of answers. Best I’ve found is there is no diagnosis. This was very difficult for me, but I’ve come to appreciate it as I have no “pre-existing condition” that can limit my insurance in any way or heighten my dues. The most significant improvement I’ve found is by very strictly following an anti-inflammatory elimination protocol diet. (You can google it or there are books - it has seriously changed my life) Through this I’ve found that certain foods (for me rice and soy and some others) really make it worse as they inflame my body, creating the neck pain and attack cycle. When I feel a bad “attack” I take 2 Advil, a Claritin and two shots of espresso. It seems to really lighten the attack for me. Ive also found relief through balance therapy with a PT and regular exercise. I chose horse back riding as I can still do it when I’m off balance and is great core work which I desperately need after years of being sick. I hope this helps you as it appears we have very similar symptoms. 

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  • Posted

    I have suffered from 24/7 vertigo for 16 months. Went to ten specialists. One finally connected my painful stiff neck to Cervical Vertigo. I was recently diagnosed with Bow Hunter’s Syndrome, where my vertebral arteries are obstructed, causing a lack of blood flow to my brain.  With this disorder, the dizziness is worse when you turn your head. Have you had any imaging done?
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    • Posted

      Hi Janet, sorry to hear you’ve been dealing with this for so long. I thought that my symptoms may  be due to an arterial problem in my neck but a contrast mri scan ruled it out. Is this how you were diagnosed?
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    • Posted

      Hi Brian. Mine did not show up on my MRI or MRA. I had an angiogram of the arteries in my neck.  My neck was manipulated during the procedure, which produced dizziness and showed how the right and left vertebral arteries are obstructed. I’m scheduled for surgery. Do some research on BHS and go to the best neurosurgeon you can find. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Janet, thanks for responding and wow that’s scary! But it sounds like you’ve made sure you’re getting the best possible treatment, so I’m sure your op will be a success!

      I’ve read that a dynamic arterial constriction is unlikely to show up on a resting MRI unless the head is moved into a certain position, so I was a little sceptical when they ruled it out for me after one MRI.

      I’d be really grateful if you could describe your dizziness, as it’s probably different to that experienced by someone who has a vestibular disfunction, and mine certainly doesn’t fall into the spinning room/floating horizon/walking on cotton wool categories.

      also would you mind saying where you’re based, as this will obviously have a massive impact on the way a certain set of symptoms is investigated. I’m in the U.K and consultants here don’t generally appear to even acknowledge the existence of VBI, let alone investigate something as potentially rare as Bowhunter’s Syndrome. Thanks again for getting back.

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    • Posted

      Hi Brian,

      My vertigo struck me all of a sudden. I do have the spinning sensation and feel as though I’m walking on a soft surface. Like typical vertigo. It’s much worse when I close my eyes or bend over or turn my head. 

      I am in the US and have Medicare. So I am very lucky. I had no problems getting most of the scans ordered, but had to see a neurosurgeon who took me seriously enough to pursue a diagnosis of BHS and order the angiogram. That is what has taken so long. Finding a doctor to take my vertigo seriously. I have not been able to drive for 16 months. I am home-bound. It’s been horrible. 

      I hope sp much you can find a good, open-minded physician. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Janet, your vertigo does seem significantly different in nature to nine, but I will talk to my neurologist about the possibility of a neck x ray and angiogram whilst my neck is manipulated. However I believe that radiologists over here are very reluctant to carry out that particular type of scan due to the increased risk of inducing a stroke due to the neck arteries being put under prolonged strain during the scan. 

      Meanwhile I hope that your surgery goes to plan, and look forward to hearing that it was a complete success and that you're well on the road to recovery!

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    • Posted

      I don’t think it would. I had a CT of my spine, an MRI, X-rays, and an MRA of my blood vessels. The obstructed arteries could only be seen on the angiogram. 
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  • Posted

    I’m in the same boat.

    I have TMJ which we thought was the cause but it wasn’t.

    My head also constantly feels full & congested from allergies. I always had ear infections growing up & still occasionally have ear pain & waking up with itchy ears (sign of infection).

     I have an insanely stiff neck (always have since I’m so tall my posture isn’t good).  I do get headaches a lot, migraine maybe every two months or so. My neck has a lot to do with that though. I try to do yoga as much as possible because it helps my muscles and joints. But again (LAZY).

    One time I went to a concert & it made my vertigo worse. The physical therapist called it sound induced vertigo. So now just being anywhere loud makes me anxious ... 

    I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a few years now. It got better. But when all of this starting happening, my anxiety came back full force ): which makes my dizziness worse.

    The head movement exercises the physical therapist gave me helped but I just forget to do it ):

    ALL IN ALL, I think each thing has a contributing factor unfortunately ):

    I take Meclazine right now. it is the generic form of Anti-vert.  Not sure where you live or if you have access to this by prescription.

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