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Avatar universal

Atypical migraine

6 months ago, late Feb., I started getting a feeling of unsteadiness, not really vertigo, I don't think.  Got worse until saw MD referred to neurologist.  Also saw ENT because bilateral ear pain began before could see neurologist.  After ear pain MD gave me allegra-D and nasal steroid, didn't do much.  Unsteadiness is constant all day and much worse in stressful situations, crowds, and if I got too hot.  Felt like what I would imagine social anxiety is.  So bad in some social situations needed to sit down.  Neurologist and ENT thought probable viral damage or stress or allergies but said may never know for sure.  Diagnosis of atypical migraine.  Went on tri-cyclic antidepressant for 6 weeks.  Helped right away with unsteadiness feeling, about 80-90% better, still bad under big store lights.  Still had ear pain.  Then felt good for one month, rare ear pain and almost no unsteadiness even in social situations.  Then I got shingles (herpes zoster) at 29.  I recognized very early, confirmed with MD and took anti-virals very early.  It was not as bad as many with shingles but still had pain on back for couple weeks.  Then return of intense bilateral ear pain again and followed by return of unsteadiness especially in social situations.  My thoughts, allergies at beginning of season and end, but allegra not help much so?.  Herpes zoster attacking over and over, is that likely?  I thought body built up immunity to it after attacks.  Just stress of new job, started in Feb. similar time as all began.  Going to try an NTi, an occlusal deprogrammer, to try to rule out TMD issues.  Ear pain is close to condyles of mandible and usually chew gum almost all day.  Going back to neurologist.  Believe atypical migraine is correct diagnosis but would rather find out cause instead of treating symptoms.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,

How are you?
Yes herpes zoster can be recurrent especially in patients with very low immunity.
It is quite possible that your symptoms are due to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) since you have habit of chewing gum all day.
I would suggest you to consult an ENT specialist and undergo an Xray or CT scan. This will help in making the correct diagnosis.
I think the occlusal deprogrammer will help alleviate your symptoms so please go ahead and try it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporomandibular_joint_disorder
Avatar universal
Thank you.  Also had MRI and tons of blood tests.  I tested for all known STD's and everything was perfect on all tests, not even HSV1.  I was somewhat worried, even though never had a cold sore, that HSV1 may be involved.  Actually the very first symptom I had was nystagmus, although not sure which direction eyes move.  It happens for about 1 second and is over, usually only happened when looking through my surgical loupes.  That preceded the unsteadiness by about 1 year and would happen once every 1-2 weeks.  My optometrist and I attributed it to adjusting to new strengths in surgical loupes. I have used 2.5x for about 7 years and around the time nystagmus started I was occasionally using 3.5x.  I have long since quite the 3.5x.  Based on reading other people’s entries I am going to start writing a journal of my symptoms to try and further isolate a cause.  I’d recommend anyone reading this with similar symptoms to do the same.    
Avatar universal
Not sure I am doing this right but I wanted to follow up and say nearly everything is gone now.  I still think herpes zoster attacked the auriculotemporal nerve due to the timing of everything.  I also had nystagmus when things were at their worst.  I ended up taking an SSRI and was diagnosed with atypical migraine.  I will still very rarely get symptoms if I am hot and under weird lighting and some other things that cause migraines for others. I'll still feel it first right by my ears and it makes me dizzy.  
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