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Vertigo for 4 years...Getting a lot worse.
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Vertigo for 4 years...Getting a lot worse.

I have had vertigo for over 4 years now. Please can someone help me out?!?!

I am a 25 year old white male who is in decent shape.

It started during a rough period in my life, so Im unsure where it came from, or what could have caused it.

At first the "attacks" were only happening in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning. I would feel dizzy in my sleep and plunge myself to wake up fast, and the whole room would be spinning.
Then I noticed that anytime I layed flat, I felt the same sensations. It feels like a concussion and vertigo at the same time. Its unbearable.

Here recently I have been dizzy every single day. Everytime I turn my head I feel a shift in consciousness and vertigo, where as I used to would have to throw my head back in order for that to happen.

At first all the doctors thought it was BPPV. But they could never note any nystagmus of my eyes. Then I had a CT Scan in 05 to rule out any tumor, and that came back negative (thankGOD)

So I went to Duke university for vestibular testing (in summer 06), and I went through a hearing test, rotary chair test, and a caloric stimulation test. Afterwards the doctor saw me and confirmed I had no nystagmus of the eyes.

And earlier this year, I had a low grade (0.6 telsa) MRI scan done of my brain, in an upright scanner.
Im not sure if the low grade images could show why Im having problems. They want me to have a high grade MRI&MRA done, but I can't lay feels like a death wish.

I feel hopeless.

Now its gotten a lot worse.I'm seeing a new neurologist in my area who suspects several things (ranging from, but not limited to): Head Injury, Vasculitis...and others.

NOTE: The 'real' vertigo is severely worsened when I throw my head back. It feels like imminent death. Or when I lay completely flat on the ground.
Originally, I just had to watch out for that and sleep with 4 pillows behind my head. But here recently, it has started to attack me from all angles......and even sleeping with pillows hasn't completely stopped the spinning and waking up with vertigo.

A few questions:

I experimented with drugs in the past and had a few bad experiences. Is it possible that I could have messed up the chemicals in my brain permanently?
(I knot that may sound paranoid, but I honestly believe had I not did drugs, I would not have this problem)

I genuinely feel that if I layed flat long enough (which only feels like a few minutes), I'd die. So in order for them to do a MRI and MRA I might have to be put to sleep. I've never been put to sleep before, and I don't want to die from something as simple as laying flat.
Is there anyway possible this can kill me?

What could it possibly be, and why in the heck did it get a lot worse all of a sudden?

I feel so close to death.....and my neurologist doesn't see me till Nov.5, which is a long ways away. Should I just go and check into a good medical hospital (not one in my area) and let them run me through a series of tests?

Another thing, I always hear my heart beat in my ears all the time. Especially at night when Im trying to sleep or when I wake up.
I literally have so many symptoms, it would be hard to tell you what I do and don't feel.

One thing is for sure though, its driving me completely crazy.

Please help. Thanks
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4 Comments Post a Comment
Avatar n tn
  Hey Bill, I dont think the drugs had anything to do with it. And I thought most balance issues stemmed from the inner ear anyway, not the brain.

At any rate, it sounds like you have what my wife had. Vasovagal Syncope,  except she would pass out. She would feel faint/dizzy if she got up too quickly. And when she felt like that she would also be very pale. Schedule an appt. with your regular doctor, and have him perform the tilt table test on you. It could take up to 1.5hrs to get the desired result.
Anyway, what happend with my wife was that her veins would dialate as if she was working out, but while at rest. So when she would get up she would have really low blood pressure and pass out. Before she started passing out she was complaining of feeling dizzy/faint. Mind you she went to her doctor 6 times and he still couldnt figure it out. I researched it and found out.. At any rate, the "cure" for her was a relatively high sodium (salt) diet (she was on a low sodium diet when this started happening).

Im not saying go eat a lot of salt. Go to your doctor and have him verify the condition. If indeed you have it, just put a little salt on most things you eat and you should be fine. Dont take any pills unless it is absolutely neccessary.

Avatar n tn

Thanks for the advice brother, but this type of vertigo definitely has nothing to do with blood pressure.
I know the condition which you speak of, and it was one of the first things that the doctors suspected.

Unfortunately, my vertigo is not just a feeling of lightheadedness. Although those effects are present as well.
As I said, my vertigo is much different, and really gives the feeling of spinning and not knowing where you are at, as well as confusion and somewhat of a crushing head pains.

Typically, these would sound like inner ear problems, but they have progressed so greatly, that even I do not think they have anything to do with the inner ear. They may however, have something to do with the blood supply to my balance mechanism.

Point blank....this problem even feels I know its going to be something incredibly hard to find.

I could eat 10 big macs or eat nothing but fruits and vegtables, and the only affect it will have is on my heart.

Oddly enough, it really feels like it has to do with the nerves of my eyes, and sleep. As it first started happening when I was sleeping, and for some reason, deep REM sleep seems to make the vertigo worse for me.

It could literally be a plethora of things.....but until I get a spinal tap, high grade MRI and MRA, brain biospy, tests for lyme disease, and other things............we wont know for certain.

But I was just looking for some advice as to what it *might* be by a neurologist, or what it sounds like.
Something to bring up in my next appointment.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated though.
144586 tn?1284669764
Very interesting questions. Without question the use of street drugs and solvents could have damaged your vestibular organs. There are hundreds of studies demonstrating such toxicity. Even certain antibiotics have been shown to cause damage. That being said, the question is "can the organ regenerate?" I honestly don't know the answer to that question. I think you should do some database research and contact a physician doing a study on that problem. Meanwhile I hope you realize you should never touch alcohol or non-prescribed substances again.
Avatar f tn
hi bill, sorry to hear that you are going thru this. My mother also gets vertigo. Horrible!! lasts for a couple of days sometimes. She says the room spins all around and doesn't stop. I actually have to hold her when she has to get up to go to the bathroom. It has made her vomit at times. All she can do is lay still in bed - not that she gets any relief, but she cannot function, cannot walk without holding on to me and all the while she is deathly sick spinning in her head. NO DOCTOR has been able to help her. She tried another ENT and he said that no one really knows what causes this, but he said he has other patients that get it also. She now uses these little tiny homeopath things- I think its called "tintinitus relief" as soon as she feels it comming on. The last attack wasn't as bad, so maybe they helped or maybe the attack just wasn't going to be as bad - dunno.

I do hope you find something out because you are so young to have to put up with this. My mother is old - 79, but she has had this for years. She had a 15 year break of NO vertigo and then all of a sudden its happening again. She now has breast cancer and that doesn't get to her at all. The vertigo is so bad  that she says she doesn't even worry about the cancer, but the vertigo is her worse nightmare.

I'll check back sometime just to see if you found any info out. I really really hope it goes away. I feel bad for you. Seeing how my mother suffers when she gets the attack (and shes a strong woman where nothing usually bothers her - but THIS DOES) I really feel for you.

I wish you the very best Bill and I hope you get well soon.

Ps she also gets the heartbeat sound sometimes too and also what sounds like a train or machine - something like that - I'll have to ask her again, but I remember her saying she would get noise in her ear too.. Maybe it has something to do with blood vessels?
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