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Whooshing sound behind eyes
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Whooshing sound behind eyes

For some 6 -8 months now, once per  5-6 weeks and for a period of 4-5 days i get a very short whooshing feeling/sound that seems to be coming from behind my eyes when i move my eyeballs, especially from side to side. it is quite annoying. no pain, no headaches, vision is fine, eyes look normal to others...  any idea what gives here???? differential????

thanx......
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Avatar_n_tn
The fact that you do not have any other neurological symptoms, and this has not been progressive but intermittent would support a drug side effect rather than a fixed or even episodic neurological condition.

First line investigation would be blood test to check for anemia (can cause increased blood flow, felt a pulsing whossing or headache), or infection. Then an eye exam to make sure your ocular movements and retinae are normal and to rulout significant increased intracranial pressure
Sometimes pulsing whooshing noises can be the sound of fast moveing tubulent blood flowing in the arteries, this is more common in the ear area rather than behind the eyes, but if weaning off the cymbalta does not remove the symptoms, a MR angiogram or trancranial doppler ultrasound might be useful to exclude a vascular cause.
27 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
FROM MICHAEL IN ADDITION TO ABOVE I WOULD ADD THAT MY B/P IS 128/78. OPTIC NERVES ARE NORMAL, RETINA IS NORMAL, VISION 20/20 AT OPTHAMALGIC EYE EXAM ON 12/22. I AM 43, 6'1'' 260LBS AND ATHLETIC. THANX
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't usually feel a need to write but what you decribe sounds similar to what I have gone through recently. I am being weaned from the antidepressnt Cymbalta ( kind of like Effexor ). Motion seems to cause this "whooshy" feeling, whether it is from my eyes or even changing postion of my head. I am now on a pediatric dose of Cymbalta, taking every other day, as the motion problem was severe when totally off the drug. Any makers of Cymbalta on here?? I'd like to know how to get off of it. LOL
Anyway, thought you might be on something like an antidepressnt.
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Avatar_m_tn
YEs! i am trying to wean off cymbalta after a long bout with chronic (undiagnosed) myofascial pain that I have just begun to address with some success. I would still appreciate the forum doctor to respond--- how else should I be tested and what is the differential if not cymbalta withdrawl (withdrawal)???
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Avatar_n_tn
WOW! I also was dx with trigeminal neuralgia 2 yrs ago ( R side facial/nerve pain ). I'll be interested in seeing what the doc says on here. Good luck on the weaning process. Cymbalta's a good drug but I understand wanting to be free of antidepressants.
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Avatar_m_tn
thanx for your post. i wold have never went on a drug if i knew this was a side effect of weaning off. do you know if i put up with the whooshing will it eventually go away?.for me, i do not like your plan to stay on a pediatric dose which i'm assuming is 30mg. it's interesting, i was free of the drug for 4 days when the whooshng got bad. i took a capsule (30mg) yesterday am (the whooshing was making me anxious--- i even saw a neuro opthamologist on an emergency basis)and the whooshing disappeared by 4 pm. i want off of the stuff. i do not feel it helped much anyway as i was not clinically depressed... i was upset alot over the pain and anxious about finding (or not finding) a way to get rid of the pain, my actual dx was "anxiety related to pain condition". i'd rather put up with the side effect of withdrawl (withdrawal) for months than stay on it indefinitely.... there is no such thing as a "good drug" that you don't need to be on. the neuro opth.wants me to have 2 brain scans but since reading your post and since my symptoms went away with one capsule, now i'm not so sure. I mentioned to the neuro opth that i was on cymbalta but did not mention i was weaning off.. perhaps i weaned off too quickly.....
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Avatar_n_tn
You are describing my problems all in your post. Pediatric dose is 20 mg every other day. And yes, whoosh disappears within about 6 hrs of taking a dose of Cymbalta. I weaned slowly, my neurologist programmed the process but after  a week or so off, the whooshy thing began and progressed to the point I couldn't work. My neuro did not prescribe it for the TN but had switched me to it per my request. I liken this "whoosh " sensation in the head to driving in my car, trying to tune in to a radio signal but my car can stay linked to it. No, I'm not a nut. I have an RN and have been a flight attendant for 18 yrs. LOL Anyway, let's see what the doctor says. PS I've had 3 MRI's, 2 Mra's, past 2 yrs for the neuralgia but I am ok.
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Avatar_n_tn
Just my 2 cents worth
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Avatar_m_tn
i've schduled an appt with the psych that put me on it. you should do the same./
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Avatar_n_tn
I came across this discussion as a result of a saved Google News search for "cymbalta retina", which alerts me any time the words "cymbalta" and "retina" appear in resonable proximity to each other on a Web page.

About 1 year ago my wife experienced a detached retina after taking Cymbalta for about 3 weeks. We suspected that Cymbalta may have been the cause and, sure enough, the monograph lists Detached Retina as an "Infrequent" (not even "Rare") side effect. Her experience is detailed here:

http://www.remedyfind.com/review_long.asp?id=8509&review_id=22704

Some time later we came in contact with another person who experienced a detached retina in BOTH eyes after taking Cymbalta. See this post:

http://www.remedyfind.com/review_long.asp?id=8509&review_id=26332

After a year of dealing with this (reporting it to Eli Lilly, the FDA, consulting several attorneys) we have yet to make any progress.

My purpose in posting this info is two-fold:

1) I want to warn anyone else taking Cymbalta to be aware of any changes or loss in vision. Of course, I'm not an opthalmologist or neurologist, so I have no idea if the "whooshing" or any of the other symptoms mentioned here are possibly related to retina problems. However, PLEASE do yourself a favor and have an opthalmologist examine you for any possible retinal changes or damage.

2) If anyone else here HAS experienced similar retina problems connected with Cymbalta, please contact me so we can add you to our list of potentially injured parties. ***@****

thanks,
JohnB



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Avatar_m_tn
john, thannx for the post. when my symptoms appeared for the 4th or 5th time last week i did not immediately correlate them with cutting my dosage of cymbalta. it was really bothersome--ie the whooshing sound and even slight very short (less than 1 second) balance problems. only on this forum did i learn my symptoms were from cymbalta weaning. i saw a neuro opthamologist in philly immediately who said my eye exam was completely normal so I do not have any retinal detachment issues. i've learned an important lesson here and that is to reserach EVERYTHING there is to know about any drug you take. I also feel that anytime you put chemicals into your body that screw around with your body's metabolism, you better be sure you are doing the right thing. psych drugs help a huge amount of people, but i now question whether or not it is wise to just try something to see how you do, as I did. I took the drug mainly for the pain reducing component which did nothing for me. the drug was pitched to me as a way to possibly help with the pain I had from severe myofascial issues. Only now do i realize that the drug MAY help with pain that is from a psychogenic origin. I say MAY because Lilly apparently did studies on people in pain and later questioned them on theier pain and found they said they had less after using the drug--- the interpreation is that patients who felt better upstairs began to feel better downstairs...... this is not the same pain origin as those with muscle issues or distinct physical pain syndromes. this drug is apparently not for patients like me. anyway, My doc told me that the whooshing sounds go away after a week or 2, and he put me on a more tapered weaning. again thanx for the post.
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Avatar_n_tn
I HAVE BEEN TAKING CYMBALTA FOR 9 MONTHS,I ALSO AM GETTING THE WHOOSHING OR SHOCK WAVES BEHIND MY EYES.THIS IS A TERRIBLE FEELING. I CAN'T TELL THAT IT HELPS MY PAIN THAT MUCH. I ALSO TAKE REQUIP WHICH HAS HELP THE BURNING IN MY FEET, BUT NOT THE PAIN. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT I HAVE NUROPATHY,BUT I'M NOT A DIABETIC. MY FEET BURN AND HURT ALL THE TIME.ONE TOE HURTS SO BAD THAT I WOULD BE WILLING TO HAVE IT TAKEN OFF,IF I KNEW IT WOULD GET RID OF THE PAIN. AT NIGHT MY FEET GET WORSE, SO BAD THAT I SLEEP VERY LITTLE. I HAVE TO TAKE PAIN MED. TO GET RELIEF AT ANY TIME.ANY INFO WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
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Avatar_n_tn
Me again: Besides the whooshing...Does anyone have almost constant headaches going of the Cymbalta (middle of the forhead)??
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Avatar_n_tn
I read your post with interest. However, it would help to know if your wife had noted any of the "whooshiness", had been withdrawing from any other antidepressant ( I had noted some "whooshiness" withdrawing from Lexapro..though not as severe while beginning initiation to Effexor, a same class antidepressant as Cymbalta. And no symptoms changing from Effexor to Cymbalta. In other words, do we, the reader need to be concerned with "whosshy" feeling and detached retinas? I am a nurse but clueless here. Thks
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Avatar_n_tn
I asked her about that when I discovered this discussion, and she said she didn't recall any of those types of symptoms.

A couple things to keep in mind, though:

1) She wasn't *weaning-off* Cymbalta when her retina trouble occured; her doctor was actually in the process of "ramping-up" the doseage. After the detached retina, the doctor then proceeded to wean her off it very gradually.

I can tell you from personal experience that the side effects when weaning-off certain anti-d's can be much different (and often more severe) than when you're actually on a steady dose. I've found Cymbalta, Effexor, & Nardil to be particularly bad - mostly "shocky" feelings in extremities and flu-like aches. Probably because these all affect norepinephrine levels, not just Serotonin.

2) Before the surgery she was so freaked out about the entire upper visual field of her eye going dark that she may not have noticed anything as "subtle" as the ever-popular whooshing effect. And after the surgery she was on a lotta pain-killers and mainly concentrating on getting her eyesight back.

I hope this is helpful to you.

best,
JohnB

ps: I once heard a doctor say something about side effects which I thought was rather profound (I'm paraphrasing here):

"If you think about it, there really are no such things as 'side effects' from medications - there are only 'effects'. In other words, the drug itself has no knowledge of exactly *why* you're taking it. We only consider them 'side' effects because they are annoying, undesirable, and often unrelated to the actual condition we're trying to treat...like an earache medicine causing your thumbnails to turn green".
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Avatar_n_tn
Meann,  As one human being to another, if I had to choose between the agonizing nerve pain or the Cymbalta, I would choose to stay on Cymbalta. If you read the earlier post, I have Trigeminal Neuralgia and the pain ( though momentary  ) can be excruciating. It HAS seemingly gone into remission since starting this type of antidepressant. It will be interesting to see what happens as the drug weans off. As far as the symptom of "whooshing" , be sure you do not forget to take a dose as this problem will emerge if you have gone long enough without it.
I was removed from Cymbalta due to increasingly higher blood pressure readings ( as high as 150/110 ). Take care and Happy New Year.

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Avatar_m_tn
my psyd simp-[ly asked me to wean off more slowly. i went from 30 mg/day to zero and the whooshiness appeared after 3-4 days of being off. within 4 hours of taking another 30 mg, the whooshiness was gone. he instead is having me go to 20mg for a week-10 days, then 10 mg (i will spearate the capsules since there is no 20 mg dosage) and then to zero. he said the whooshiness would disappear after a few weeks anyway.
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Avatar_n_tn
Guess I need to schedule a vacation for a few weeks to "swoosh"!! LOL Cymbalta needs to put this in it's insert. It also needs to make capsules as low as 5 mg ( think of young kids being put on this stuff! )The medical community needs to program a MUCH slower wean. Take care and Happy 2006. :-)
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Avatar_n_tn
I, too, am trying to wean myself of Cymbalta.  What really irks me is I went through this exact same thing with Effexor and my doctor assured me that this drug wouldn't give me what I call "brain buzzes."  When I move my eyes I get little shocks or buzzes in my brain.  I am so disgusted with these drugs and hate that I've had to be on them for depression.  It took me months to wean off of Effexor and now I'm going through it again with Cymbalta.  Some people don't get these symptoms but a few of us do -- it should be a warning somewhere in the medical side effects -- so that doctors don't keep putting us through this!!  I was on 60 mg a day and have decreased it to one every two days.  I will move to one every three days next week.  I will suffer through these "brain buzzes" but I've had it with anti-depressants.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have tried all the antidepressants.  Zoloft, lexapro, wellbutrin, wellbutrin XL, and cymbalta.  Zoloft worked wonderful, but I got tired of not being able to cry and having no sex drive.  Lexapro put 20lbs on me and that was just enough.  Wellbutrin XL didn't address the issue and straight wellbutrin cut my apetite too much and made sleep difficult.  the cymbalta was great for pain but again caused weight gain.
My problem is that I have fibromyalgia, I've had several nerves "released" in both arms, carpel tunnel surgery, level three labrum tears in my shoulders and now labrum tears in my hips.  I just had the first hip done last week.  I have just weaned myself off of welbutrin and cymbalta as I was tired of working out, not eating or sleeping,(because of the wellbutrin, and not being able to lose weight because of the cymbalta.  The cymbalta did work for my nerve pain as I just had both arms done recently, one in Sept. and one in Nov.  I am just done with meds though.  I have been taking levoxyl for 20 years and question whether I even need that.
In the past I have had mild depression due to fibromyalgia and a insensitive spouse.  The kinds of conditions I have often go misdiagnosed for depression.  It wasn't until I found my new cutting edge doctors that know enough to check for these soft tissue tears that can be very painful.
I'm getting off the subject but wanted to give a little backround.  I've been off cymbalta for about a week.  I too have the buzzes but also crying outburst.  anyone else or am I truly depressed.  I'm trying to recover from this surgery, but am not sure if I'm crying from pain or withdrawal.  Help!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thought you should know that I too had crying spells after about a week off Cymbalta . That particular reaction to the withdrawal occurred off and on for another two or so weeks. Because I simply HAD to come off this type antidepressant ( and have chosen not to take ANY more a/d's ! ) , I simply told myself that it very healthy and normal to cry and that it actually felt kind of good to get all that out of my system ( both emotionally and biologically ! ). You are not losing your mind...just keep telling yourself , " It's the withdrawal. It's the withdrawal. "
LOL  Take care and good luck to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
flynnurse,, it's mike, the original post author.i weaned off morfe slowly as per my psyc h doc. i went from 60 to 30 for a month or so. then to 20mg for 10 days, then to 10mg for 10 days (i actually dumped out half the capsule) and now I'm off. the whooshy feeling is back.  i see that you are off now. how long did it take for the weaning effects (especially the whooshiness, which so far is the only one) to stop???
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Mike! As you can see, I am still monitoring this subject ( and it saved my sanity to know there was atleast ONE other human being experiencing EXACTLY what I was experiencing ). I have been off Cymbalta for a few weeks. My wean was even more gradual than yours but GUESS WHAT? I am STILL having that whooshing sensation!!!! It will occur every week or so, for a day or so. It is much milder but there. I have chosen to ignore it. I noticed that each time I have this withdrawl (withdrawal) symtom and I ignore it, the intervals get longer between symptoms. Eventually, I suppose it will just go away. I really do wonder why the brain is reacting this way to its withdrawal. I guess only the makers of the drug know. Hmmmmmmm. I'll keep you posted via your initial question on here. Hope you are otherwise doing well. Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
P.S.  Remember my high blood pressure triggered the removal from Cymbalta? Well, it is just THIS WEEK showing normal readings. That is clinical proof of how LONG it takes for the body to readjust without Cymbalta. Even the pediatric doses every other day, then every 3 days, etc  did not bring down the pressure.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Mike......We sure have had alot in common over this darn drug!! My blodd pressure rose as high as 150/110 , 220/100, etc. It was not a consistent reading initially but became more consistent as time went on. Fortunately, my neurologist is also a neuro-ophthalmologist and was monitoring my retina, optic nerves. If he ever saw anything, he did not let me know. So, that brings me to this question for you. I have read other posts from you on other questions and sounds like you live in the Philly area. There are such fine medical specialists in PHL, why did you have to come down into my area, Miami, to get an examination of your optic nerve????
   Also, I am sure you read that post from the guy who's wife had the detached retina. I wonder what her BP was when that happened! YIKES.
   Ok, the whooshing...( and I let my neuro know there was a whole lot of whooshing going on with other patients...I don't think he realized what a serious withdrawal effect it was ).
Initially, when completely off the drug at minimal dosage for about 2 weeks, the whoosh was strong  and lasted all day. I ignored it, went to bed and the next day it was still there but fainter. I continued to ignore it and it dissapated. Then several days later it began again though even milder. I ignored it. And so on and so forth. It still happens but much much milder each time and intervals are spacing out. BP is normal all day now ( I have a BP machine ).
   Thanks for you very informative post...seems we have alot in common with reactions to Cymbalta ( and I will incude Effexor here to as it is the same class drug )!! I will write you from time to time via your e-mail address to let you know how things are progressing. Thx for giving me that. I am ***@****.  and my name is Kathi. Also. let me know how you are doing!!
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Avatar_m_tn
flynnnurse --interesting about the BP... about 3-4 months ago, for no apparent reason I suddenly began seeing dark spots in one eye!!! It's happenned earlier in my life and much more mildly and always/only after an intense basketball game or tennis match (i played in college) but was always gone by the next day. this time, i rushed to an optometrist friend of mine who referred me to the bascom-palmer eye institute in miami where it was determined i had some edema and hemorhaging around the optic nerve. MY BP was sky high 190 something/100+ !!!! he waqs concerned I would stroke!!!! (I don't even want to try to remember the actual numbers) I am now on 5mg Altace and it is under control. It has never ever been nearly that high-- always in the high 120s over high 70s. so i was shocked and upset. It also seems odd that only 5mg (smallest dose) of one of the more milder BP drugs is keeping my BP in check.... hmmmmnnnn.. Since reading your post I'm beginning to wonder if the cymbalta cause the spike--- at that time i was on 60mg. hmmmmmn. well it is now the end of my first full day off that **** (which did nothing for my muscle spasms----that's a whole 'nother story that would give me carpal tunnel to write about.....oh wait, i have that already!!!!) and the whooshing is loud and furious. hopefully it will wane like yours did. no other effects yet from withdrawl (withdrawal), but this is enough. was your whooshing pretty nasty in the beginning?? my doc said 3-7 days but ......we'll see. I'd like to be kept abreast of your progress...if you'd be so kind my email is ***@****. thanx
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Avatar_m_tn
flyinnurse--- i don't even think the drugmakers know why this happens......when you screw around with brain chemicals... well, what can one expect ??
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, neck doppler was started.
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Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, swoshing in my head was started.
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