I'm noticing a connection with Vertigo....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by sandman3, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. sandman3

    sandman3 New Member

    and my stress level! I'm having another bad "attack" that started last night (it always starts when I'm sleeping/turning over to my other side) and is continuing through tonight. Had a bad crisis with difficult child 1 yesterday and I was really upset last night. My last attack was 2 weeks ago when I was super stressed out about difficult child 2 in the psychiatric hospital. So, as I'm newly enlightened to the importance of paying attention to little details, I'm seeing the connect here!

    Has anyone else with Vertigo/Positional Vertigo seen this connection??? I'm waiting for another referral to the ENT for treatment and will surely be asking about it. I've done my exercises for a little relief, but not too much.

  2. ML

    ML Guest

    I don't know too much about vertigo but I'm sorry you're having to go through it. It sounds very stressful and disorienting. Thinking of you and ((((sand))))
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Just curious -- did you have a brain MRI?
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm also wondering if anyone did an MRI, and have they checked out your blood pressure?
  5. Both my Mom and my very dear friend have these horrible vertigo attacks. They without a doubt seem to be related to stress for both of them.

    My friend has had the problem for 20 years now. She takes a Valium and sleeps for a day whenever an attack hits. She swears that this controls her problem.

    My Mom just finished a course of vestibular physical therapy. The therapy lasted 12 weeks and she was given a large number of exercises to perform every day. She is a very compliant patient and she performs them religiously. She has seen wonderful results. The vertigo is not cured, but is is controlled. You mentioned exercises. Have you tried the physical therapy as well?

    I know that this problem is incredibly frustrating. I hope that you can get some relief!
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I had a sudden onset of Vertigo when I was in my thirties. Everything was fine and then WHAM I woke up in the morning and the entire world was spinning and I was home alone. I'll never forget crawling to the bathroom door with the floor "swaying". I was scared to death.

    Coincidentally, I ran into a childhood friend a week later and she had experienced the same thing. She was diagnosed with Menaire's (sp?)
    disease by an ear specialist. There were three of us who mysteriously
    had these symptoms...and we had not seen each other in a long time.

    Stress was the common factor and insufficient sleep, too, since we had
    three to six kids each and worked. My MD gave me Valium and also suggested that I keep the OTC pills for motion sickness in my purse.

    It has been twenty years since I was bothered...until about six months
    ago when the stress seemed to overwhelm me again. I started on Lexapro and only had two short vertigo bouts.

    You've got my sympathy. Try to see what steps you can take to control
    the problem. In my case, the vertigo was much worse when I felt like a
    victim to the sudden symtoms. DDD
  7. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Meniere's disease is something I had considered when I saw this earlier, but I didn't have time to post on it. A friend of mine has it. Hers can get so bad that she will fall down frequently. She is only 39, but she's had it for a few years now.

    If you are on ADs and stop taking them, it can cause vertigo also.

    Hormonal changes can also cause some of the symptoms.

    All of these things can be checked. You should talk to your doctor.
  8. sandman3

    sandman3 New Member

    I got a call from my Primary Physician today finally with my Referral. My appointment is on Monday with an ENT! I'm so glad it is that soon cause I've been spinning like a Top the last 2 days!

    I've never had any kind of brain scan or MRI, and I've been on Anti-Depressants for years now, not to mention my hormones are WHACK at 38 yrs old! I've also never heard of Meneire's disease...will have to look that one up tonight. I'll be arriving at this new ENT with LOADS of questions....lol, I hope he's ready!

    Thanks so much for all the input! Nobody I know suffers from this the way I do so it's hard for them to understand what I go through.

  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I have Meniere's Syndrome, a milder form. You might want to start keeping a log as caffiene, sodium, and fatigue are more common triggers. Fatigue is the biggie for me so I watch the sleep and also take a diuretic, which helps for reasons unknown.

    When you see your ENT you might also ask for a blood test for Lyme Disease as symptoms can include balance problems, and early symptoms mimic vertigo or Meneire's.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Glad you got the ENT squared away. Have you tried goggling "vertigo"?
    There probably is quite a bit of info available and it would make you more prepared to get the most out of your appointment. with the specialist.

    Fingers crossed. DDD
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    There can be many causes of vertigo. Meniere's Syndrome is one. My sister was diagnosed with Meniere's, she noticed she got it really badly every year at hay fever season. So one year she took antihistamines, and presto! No vertigo! It did eventually go away permanently.

    I was talking to a friend at church today, she also is getting bad vertigo. She also has hearing loss and thinks it could be connected to that. It could well be, but I suggested she see a neurologist to be sure, to check it out.

    In May last year, just before we were due to go to New Zealand for our holiday, I was hit with bad vertigo. I have enough trouble getting around, the vertigo was a big problem. Because I already see a neurologist for my other problems, I saw him about this. He diagnosed "benign positional vertigo" aka "benign positional nystagmus". The nystagmus refers to a characteristic flicking of the eye back and forth, as you try to work out which way is up. You don't always have it, but he knew which way to tip me around to trigger the nystagmus.

    My neurologist told me that this is a condition neurologists LOVE to diagnose, because it is so easy to treat, almost miraculous, and patients are so grateful!
    The cause - it's in the semi-circular canals, which are responsible for balance. For those with a maths or physics background, think of a three-dimensional plot, with x, y and z axes. We each have, on each side of our heads, a set like this with three directions all accounted for at 90 degree rotation, like the direction the walls go from the corner of a box. In fact, if you drew a loop on the side of each box, starting from the corner, you would get something that looks like the semi-circular canals.

    These canals are tubes, each in a roughly circular shape. They are lined with small hairs and tiny 'stones' or otoliths (which means ear stone) and fluid through the tubes. The tubes are also sealed. When you turn your head or bend down, the fluid moves and this movement bends the little hairs, which triggers a message to the brain telling you what position you are in and which way you just moved. This connects with your yes, which should be sending a matching message ("I just bent over to tie my shoes and I'm looking at my shoes from this angle.")

    What happens with age, and sometimes a knock to the head, or some other process - sometimes these otoliths get loose and move around. Then it doesn't take much at all for them to bump against the little hairs and trigger them, sending a completely misleading message to the brain - you try to compensate for this message and feel dizzy, sometimes falling over.

    The cure - it's amazing. The GP I saw told me to do some exercises and gave me a sheet. I also found these exercises online when I Googled "benign positional vertigo" in double quote marks, like that.
    But the exercises take time, and if you don't do them right they take even longer. It also depends on WHICH canal is affected (x, y or z) and you need someone who understands how it works, to observe you and then tell you.
    Hence - my neurologist.
    He tipped me around (making me feel a lot worse) and then watched my eyes, to diagnose which canal on which side was the problem. And in my case, just tipping me around (called "Epley's manouvre") was not enough. I had less vertigo, but it was still a problem. So for my next appointment I did as he asked and brought along a small vibrator. A lot of vibrating gizmos you get for massaging your back are good - you need something firm with a vibrating point the size and shape of your fingertip. I had a tiny little thing for working on my feet (reflexology).
    The doctor used this on my mastoid bone (behind the ear) and this shook the little otolith loose and jiggled it into the fluid, like turning on a lava lamp. He then did the Epley's Manouver again, but in the direction he knew I needed.

    I left feeling dizzy and nauseous, but over the next few hours the dizziness subsided, and NEVER RETURNED!

    What is more, the long-term mild vertigo I'd had (and put down to nerve damage) was also gone.

    We had a fabulous holiday, not even turbulence on the airplanes triggered vertigo.

    So, a serious suggestion - see if you can find a doctor who understands t his and can help you. It's really easy, it involves very little (nothing invasive) and even my neurologist wants a vibrator just like mine. He knew theoretically a vibrator would work, but he was REALLY impressed at how effective it was. He hadn't had the chance to use such a strong, but small, vibrator before, for this.

    But the vibrator alone isn't enough, you really need an expert to do this.

    I was annoyed with how long I've put up with vertigo, and amazed at just how completely, and how fast, it got fixed.

    And remember - it needs to be benign positional vertigo, because that's why it works.

  12. sandman3

    sandman3 New Member

    Hey Marg,
    yes, I know about the little thingys in the ear (although never new the correct medical terms)...the first ENT called them "crystals" and said my crystals had moved to the wrong place! Cracked me up. I've have the Epley Manuever perfomed several times, and it usually leaves me "spin free" for at least several months at a time, but inevitably the vertigo comes back. I do have the flicking of the eye while I'm spinning also....will never forget the first time in the ENT, was a teaching hospital...he called all the students in to watch my eyes go bonkers while he hung me off the table! Lots of ooooooh's and aaaaaaah's.

    I will definitely be trying to get a more clear picture of my actual situation starting at my appointment tomorow.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    They must be misdiagnosing it, Marg. My mom has had it for years, and her mother before her. I have periodic symptoms. It's awful for my mom. She suddenly sees the room spinning and falls flat on her face because she can't tell which way she's falling. She gets horribly bruised up. (No, it's not my dad beating her. ;) He's a jerk but he never hit her. He doesn't believe in that.) She had to stop driving because it would come on so suddenly she thought the car had gone off of the road and couldn't control it. It never happened when she was driving, but it has with other drivers and it's horrifying. When the vertigo comes she will vomit for days. There is a surgery which they call a "destructive treatment". In other words, it destroys the hearing.

    These people may have inner ear problems, but if they're getting better with antihistamine, they most likely don't have meniere's.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've often wondered about my sister's case. She had her diagnosis of Meniere's confirmed by a specialist, but decided by herself to try antihistamines because she noticed she was fine for most of the year, it would hit her for about three months every spring. So did she really have Meniere's after all? It hasn't returned for her. It could have subsided coincidentally. Or it could have been something in her immune system causing loss of balance. I just don't know. Neither did her doctor, who just couldn't believe it.
    I remember my mother insisting to an Agriculture professor who lived next door to us (our families were best of friends) that although she was very good at bottling and preserving fruit, she could never do it right when she tried preserving fruit when she was pregnant. He used this as an example in a lecture he gave, which was published in the "University News" of Sydney University, decades later. He said, "Although this seemed to make no sense scientifically, who was I to argue with a person who had conducted tests in the field with eight replications?"
    He was encouraging his students to listen to the farmers even if what they were saying seemed crackpot. This is how new discoveries can be made - sometimes it IS crackpot or coincidence, and sometimes it is something wonderful undiscovered. If Edward Jenner hadn't listened to the dairy maid whose cowpox he was treating, would he have found a better way to prevent smallpox?

    With the success I had with the combination of Epley's plus vibrator for benign positional vertigo, I need to emphasise a couple of things - this should work, BUT it needs to be done right (ie you need to be turned the correct direction) according to which canal is affected, on which side. There is a very high success rate, but it may need to be repeated.
    However - in my case, I had this for years and never got treated for it. I mean, literally decades. It was when it hit hard, much worse, that my NEW neurologist (not all the ones I'd seen previously) fixed it as I described.

    He did try the Epley's without using the vibrator, first time round. He was saying as he did this, "If I had a vibrator, I could shake this thing loose from where it's settled and it would be easier to tip it back into position." That's when I said I'd bring one in for him, and he described exactly what I would need.
    He may have been trying harder for me because he knew we were supposed to be going to NZ in a few days' time and he wanted me well enough. I had about three appointments with him in two weeks, the last being only a couple of days before we left.

    I'm delighted he fixed it so easily, but annoyed at all the years I put up with it in a milder form despite seeing many neurologists who would have known what to do.

    But if the vertigo is due to another cause, then the Epley's Manouvre won't help.

    My friend at church whose vertigo is getting really bad - she is a former nurse, and didn't know about the Epley's manouvre even though she's been told it's Benign Positional Vertigo that she has, on top of her hearing loss. Her neurologist doesn't seem to have mentioned it to her either, nor has her GP, so she said she's going to try to see my bloke.

    I looked it up online (when I thought I was going to have to do those rolling exercises all the way round NZ) and found that it is well-known.

    Maybe it's not considered a serious enough problem to go to too much trouble for? It's not life-threatening, so let the patient learn to live with it. I don't know.

    I know it won't help everybody, since there can be many different causes, but if anyone out there can benefit, then go for it!

  15. sandman3

    sandman3 New Member

    It's interesting that you need to see a Neuro for it where you live. When it first started for me (about 10 years ago) I was immediately referred to an ENT who knew exactly what to do. Maybe it's becoming more common now, because when I go to the doctor complaining they know just where to send me. However, I may need a Neuro if it's more than just Vertigo....all I know is I need help, I cannot deal with this the way it is!

    I'll let you all know how it goes today, my appointment is just an hour from now!
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oooh, you poor thing! I feel for you. I've only had it after the flu and it's lasted about 2 wks.
    You are on the right track with-your appointment., and you've gotten some great feedback here. I hope you made a list of questions and can get them all answered.
    Good luck!