Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Meniere's Disease, Dizziness & Vertigo
The Other Side forums - suitable for mature readers! > The Other Side forums > Personal concerns
Pixelgoth
I have suffered from reoccurring dizzy spells for about half my life. Since 1994 they lasted 3-4 days and would only occur once every 4 years or so. Back in 2004 they started occuring more frequently but less severely and I went to a specialist in Sheffield where I was living. He said there wasn't anything seriously wrong with me. He ruled our Menieres and other illnesses like that and said it was simply a problem between my ears, feet and eyes not matching up signals. Anyways, my dizzy spells came and went for the next few years without causing major problems.

Worringly they've been back but more frequently since January. I had an attack while I was in Chicago which lasted 2-3 days and then one again 2-3 weeks ago but the dizzy spells haven't entirely gone away. Now they vary between the while world undulating and moving when I move my head at all to the room simply spinning when I lie down or turn my head at a funny angle. My doctor originally suggested BPPV but another doctor wants to have an MRI (which freaks me out! sad.gif) and suggested Meniere's Disease. They want to rule out neurological/brain problems with the MRI I think.

My symptoms basically include random dizzy spells, nausea from the experience and that's about it. I have always had Tinnitus to a varying degree and I do experience slight hearing issues but nothing drastic that I can tell. I was tested for all these things in 2004 like I said and was found not to have them sad.gif

Also I have to ring the DVLA tomorrow to tell them as I might not be allowed to drive any more sad.gif That's not a major problem as I can manage but it's just annoying have that sort of freedom taken away I guess.

Does anyone have any experience of these types of things? I want to avoid self diagnosing via the internet as I am a worrier at the best of times with my family history so any advice/help/suggestions would be nice smile.gif
snooodlysnoosnoosnoodle
Ok, firstly, don't panic about them wanting an MRI... it's standard procedure with dizzy patients nowadays.

With regard to Meniere's it is often used as an easy explanation for dizziness and it frustrates me no end because the majority of people who are told they have it really, really don't.

Meniere's classic symptoms are dizzy spells (vertigo & nausea with or without vomiting) lasting a few hours to a few days usually accompanied with a sensation of pressure, increased tinnitus and a low frequency sensorineural hearing loss all in the affected ear and all of which return to normal once the episode is over... at least to begin with. When Meniere's progresses the tinnitus and hearing loss will gradually become more permanent.

BPPV is, as the name suggests, positional. So the vertigo is set off by putting your head into certain positions, most commonly noticed when rolling over or getting out of bed. Again the spells can last anywhere from a few minutes to days but generally average a few hours.

Have you been taking any vestibular suppressants (Serc or Betahistine being the most common) or even sent for another hearing test or vestibular function testing?
Pixelgoth
QUOTE (snoo @ Mar 10 2011, 09:11 PM) *
Ok, firstly, don't panic about them wanting an MRI... it's standard procedure with dizzy patients nowadays.

With regard to Meniere's it is often used as an easy explanation for dizziness and it frustrates me no end because the majority of people who are told they have it really, really don't.

Meniere's classic symptoms are dizzy spells (vertigo & nausea with or without vomiting) lasting a few hours to a few days usually accompanied with a sensation of pressure, increased tinnitus and a low frequency sensorineural hearing loss all in the affected ear and all of which return to normal once the episode is over... at least to begin with. When Meniere's progresses the tinnitus and hearing loss will gradually become more permanent.

BPPV is, as the name suggests, positional. So the vertigo is set off by putting your head into certain positions, most commonly noticed when rolling over or getting out of bed. Again the spells can last anywhere from a few minutes to days but generally average a few hours.

Have you been taking any vestibular suppressants (Serc or Betahistine being the most common) or even sent for another hearing test or vestibular function testing?


Sounds like I have BPPV rather than Menieres then as I haven't noticed any unusual Tinnitus (I've always had a slight ringing) and both my ears are affected rather than one noticably. I also get it when my head is in certain positions.

I am taking Betahistine at the moment and I'm being referred to ENT which I assume will involve audio testing. I have had that before and they ruled out Menieres but that was 2004/5 when that happened. The doc tested me for anything 'brain' related and he seemed fairly sure it wasn't. I've have the Epley test before and as I wasn't actually having an attack at the time they couldn't recreate the dizzy sensation but again that was in 2004/5. Hoping the doctors down here might have more idea?

Thanks Snoo smile.gif Any other advice is very welcome smile.gif
Daria
I don't really have any advice other than: MRIs aren't scary! You just need to relax and realise that it's like... I don't know... like sliding under your bed to look for something happy.gif They don't hurt, there're no weird sensations, it's just like having an x-ray. AND you get to see pictures of your brain, which is pretty rad.

When I had an MRI I was in it for an hour and a half, being electrocuted whilst I played a game similar to Pacman*. And it was ok! So I'm sure your experience will be way better anyway smile.gif






*(Medical research into predator/ prey responses in humans, yo!)
Pikasyuu
like @ daria's post
as someone who hates hospitals and has had about a billion uncomfortable/unpleasant medical tests herself, look at it like this - it's a new experience. they wont let you get hurt and/or die, and afterwards you can walk out and feel kind of..cool. you can think to yourself, 'wow! i got through that, i did just fine, and now i know what it's like!' an MRI machine isn't great for people who are claustrophobic, but if you just try really hard to switch your line of thought to something more pleasant (while listening to their instructions, assuming they have any for you), it'll go by a lot faster and be a lot less awful. maybe try playing the tetris theme in your head? :P
Daria
Learning breathing exercises/ meditation a bit before hand could be useful if you think you might freakout when you're in it. Also, it's not like you're stuck in there until they're finished with you- if you don't like it, shout and they will get you out pretty damn quick smile.gif
Pikasyuu
i've never heard of anyone getting up mid-mri. depending on how many images they take, it CAN take an hour or more (each image can take 2 - 20 minutes), but they also give you mild sedatives if you're especially nervous. movement, metals, pens, credit cards, zippers etc (except the coils they can put on your legs and arms to get better readings) will blur the images and aren't allowed. you can also ask them for a blanket or a pillow if the table is too cold/hard/uncomfy and some of them have headphones or screens so you can do something to take your mind off of it.

also, if they use gadolinium to rule certain tumors out and are able to tell you with certainty that those things HAVE been ruled out, you'll come away from it feeling much better.
Pixelgoth
Thanks Syuu and Daria smile.gif

I'm trying not to think about the T word *whisper* tumour *whispers* as the doc did some motion tests of me and seemed quite sure that if I had failed those he'd be worried and I didn't. But still. Cancer is widespread in my family so I'm naturally nervous about it. I'm trying to be positive and not worry about it as the spells have been going on for some time (since 1994 like I said) they're just getting more frequent so I guess I'm just getting old biggrin.gif My Dad also gets the same thing in the same positions so it seems like it's hereditary too.

I won't know til I get my appointment and I'm still waiting for the letter which could take a while.

I will keep ya posted but the words of support are helping thanks smile.gif
Mata
It's good to hear that the indications are positive. If your dad has the same issues then it sounds like you might just have a bit of a naff inner-ear built into your genes somewhere - very unpleasant I'm sure, but better than the alternatives. Look after yourself smile.gif *hugs*
Pixelgoth
Blood tests have been done for thyroid issues now. Not sure what the results are going to be as yet. Waiting to hear. No idea what it is now.
Pixelgoth
No thyroid problems!

I do have slightly high cholesterol though sad.gif He wants to keep an eye on that.

Got my specialist appointment tomorrow so will know more then I hope. I am still having classic vertigo symptoms which is quite annoying but fingers crossed for some advice tomorrow.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.