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Need some opinions on possible inner ear issue.
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Need some opinions on possible inner ear issue.

Hello and thanks for taking time to read my post.

About 2 months ago, I started to feel a 24/7 dizziness!  9 months prior I would have episodes while sitting or standing whjere I would feel I was tipping over, but they only last 1 second or so.  My other symptoms include numbness in my hands (only at night while sleeping so far), occasional single pin ***** sensations on my hands and feet and an intermittent buzzing in my right foot that seems to come and go randomly, and a slight tremor in my left hand while typing or pointing the index finger in certain positions.  I am taking Buspirone for anxiety, which many of it's side effects are these things too possibly. (The dizziness was there first though!)

I had an MRI done a couple months ago and it was normal, but I do have severe sinus disease and had a middle ear infection.  I was treated for that with cephalexin, but my family doctor feels it could be possibly inner ear issues (e.g. a virus etc).  I went to see an opthomalogist for some floaters in my eyes, but he said my eyes are fine.  Next, my Dr has me scheduled to see an ENT for balance and table tilt tests.

My dizziness is not a debilitating dizziness or spinning. It is extremely subtle where I sort of feel like I am almost out of my body and things are surreal - almost dreamlike.  It is very distracting, and though I have not seemed to have lost any balance, I can't help but some sort of CNS disturbance.

Based on what I am describing, do you feel this could be something like labyrinthitis or inner ear infection?  Does it sound more CNS, like something like MS or brain stem?  Again, it is subtle and I have no debilitating symptoms, but I just need some different opinions.

Thanks!
DrumD8on
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1268057_tn?1399131913
In my opinion, it sounds like labyrinthitis.  I have been diagnosed with this.  Mine in unresolved; have had problems for 7-8 months now.  That is my guess.

Keep us posted; it will be interesting to see what the ENT specialist thinks.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the speedy reply Londres!

If you don't mind me asking, did you have any anxiety or other symptoms (whether attributed to anxiety or not) with your labyrinthitis?  To what degree is your dizziness and how would you describe it?

This seems to be a difficult thing to nail down for me.  I find it very hard to describe the unsettling feeling I have while up and moving (my dizziness seems to subside almost completely when i am lying down or sleeping).

Thanks - I hope you can resolve this issue. It certainly is maddening!
DrumD8on
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Oh yeah, many people have anxiety with labyrinthitis because our sense of motion/position is impeded.  When I first started having problems back in August I had 7-10 days of rotational vertigo and problems focusing my eyes especially if I moved my head up and/or suddenly.  I went to a family physician and she told me she sees this quite often, gave me medication called Betahistine and stated I should be better in 2-3 weeks, well..... NOT.  Then in October the vertigo turned into a sensation of push-pull and rocking when I was in bed, walking, sitting, etc.  I saw two ENT specialists; one thought it might be Meniere's and the other one, well to put it politely, was indifferent, smug and told me "YOU HAVE MENIERE'S BECAUSE YOU LIVE A STRESSFUL LIFE AND DRINK TOO MUCH CAFFEINE."  Basically telling me I was making myself sick.  Then, I finally saw a Neurologist and he told me I do not have Meniere's but unresolved Labyrinthitis.  He gave me some exercises to do.  He said the exercises will help reset my vestibular system(put my eyes, inner ears and brain in sync again).  He also said it was probably caused by a virus infection I had in August.  I do have lightheadedness, neck pain, tinnitus, ear pain, especially if overexerted myself.  Oh, yes, problems with my eyes(focusing, floaters).

That was my short version, ha ha.  



Yes, it can turn a sane person into a crazy one.  
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Avatar_m_tn
This makes me feel somewhat better, knowing that it can cause all those other symptoms.  Only bad thing is it sounds like it could take a long time to improve.  I am sorry to hear you have had such a long bout with this, but glad to hear you at least got to the bottom of the problem.  I'll be seeing an ENT in a week and if I am not happy with that outcome, I will visit a neuro-otologist too.

Thanks again for the post!
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Vestibular problems are horrid; can take a long time to recover no doubt after you find a physician who gives you a CORRECT diagnosis .  And please do me one favor, do not fall for "it is all in your head, you are making yourself sick, it is stress," etc. answers from any physician.  That's the EASY out for some of them when they cannot figure you out and don't have the answers you need.  Frankly, alot of physicians are using those explainations far too much nowadays.    

Best of luck.

Please keep us posted about how things turn out for you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree...in fact, my own Family Dr said this and immediately put me on anxiety medicine (which I do feel I need), but it is really a question of what came first, the dizziness or anxiety?  For me, it was undoubtedly the dizziness that started it all.  Now he is scheduling me for a tilt table test amongst other things to determine the source of the problem.  I am hoping to hear some good news.  

I'll update after I see the ENT next Monday 4/19.  Thank you!  :)
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152264_tn?1280358257
Sometimes it is very difficult, if not impossible, to figure out whether dizziness is coming from the inner ear, the brain, or both.

I have constant low-level wooziness--which causes "attention and concentration deficits," as a neurologist put it--that began in the late 1980s and has gotten worse, though it's tolerable (not pleasant, though). I had a sudden hearing loss on the left in 1999, highly abnormal auditory evoked potentials on both sides, but no other specific ear or CNS problems found (although I did NOT have really extensive testing for either).

I just live with the wooziness. It feels like severe motion-sickness-in-the-head, except without the nausea. I know it's not anxiety (tried Xanax and Ativan, no help at all; Ativan made me dizzier).

Don't be surprised if the doctors can't give you answers about your dizziness. Many people never get definite answers. Your case does not sound like labyrinthitis to me--that involves a severe attack as Londres described.

I don't think there's any way to prove that dizziness is from CNS or brainstem, although if you have other CNS signs such as abnormal eye movements when tested on ENG/VNG, that can point to CNS involvement. If you have not had the ENG/VNG already, perhaps your ENT will order it (they should, I think--if not now, then later on if your dizziness doesn't resolve with medication). The normal MRI also certainly points away from CNS problems.

Good luck--hope you get some answers.
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Avatar_m_tn
Nancy,

Thanks for the info!  The only other strange thing I have noticed is in my eyes.  They seem to have a hard time focusing and I notice throughout the day in low level lighting, my left pupil is slightly larger than my right.  Not by a huge proportion, but certainly noticeable.  They seem to dilate and constrict together however when light is on them.

I hate this....I just want it to go away.  

Any thoughts are welcome!
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