I have had vertigo since October 2010 which was believed to be brought on by a severe case of bronchitis and sinusitis which required 2 rounds of antibiotics and a round of steroids, with the onset of vertigo one week after the completion of the steroids. This wasn't severe vertigo, only periodic falling with dizzy episodes lasting 10-30 seconds probably 20+ times a day. After about 2 months I started experiencing migraines which were more severe when riding in a vehicle more than 30 minutes. Vehicles moving past me, flashing lights, windshield wipers moving and waiting on trains gave me sever headaches and extreme dizziness, therefore I can no longer drive. Migraines are now being treated with 180mg of Verapamil twice daily, which was the 6th medication tried to alleviate the migraines. If travel longer than 45minutes Valium is required. Just had vestibular testing which came back normal and now doctor wants to perform a spinal tap to check fluid pressure. I am 48, overweight and also diabetic. I am skeptical of this procedure and would like your opinion of this procedure.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I cannot tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
Your physician may be recommending an lumbar puncture to rule out a condition known as pseudotumor cerebri, also known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension. It is a disorder characterized clinically by headaches, and can also result in visual disturbance, tinnitus, nausea/vomiting, or dizziness. The headache may originate behind the eyes, and worsen with eye movement, although presentation can be variable. Pseudotumor cerebri predominantly occurs in people who are overweight, in women, and those who have taken specific medications such as retin-A (the acne medication), vitamin A, and tetracycline antibiotics.
It is diagnosed based on clinical findings and the finding of a high cerebrospinal fluid pressure on lumbar puncture. MRI imaging is typically done to rule out other causes of headache. If papilledema (swelling of the optic disc) is seen on fundoscopic examination, it can also be helpful for diagnosis.
If other causes of headache have been excluded, and your neurologist has reason to suspect pseudotumor cerebri, a lumbar puncture would be a reasonable test to perform. Serious complications from an lumbar puncture are rare, although there is a risk for bleeding or infection. The most common complication is a post lumbar puncture headache, which usually resolves with bedrest.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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