04-03-2012, 01:50 AM #1
Vertigo vs dizziness vs balance problems
I saw an ENT today to rule out any ENT-related issues that might be causing my dizzy/vertigo/balance problems. He said there's no ENT reason for my problems. As expected.
At any rate, he also explained that "vertigo" is a spinning sensation accompanied by nausea and sometimes vomiting.
My neuro put vertigo on my referral form when he sent me to the ENT, but I have not had "spinning" or nausea.
What I do have is a sense of being off-balance when I walk or stand still. If you've ever been in an earthquake, it is a similar feeling. In addition to that, but a little different feeling, is when I am lying down, I'll have a sense that I'm moving. If I turn my head or eyes, I will feel a "whoosh" sense, like my senses take a minute to catch up with my focus. The ENT said those sensations are brain-centered, not ear-centered and not "vertigo."
So, do any of you have what he described as true "vertigo" with the spinning that doesn't stop and nausea? Or, is your dizziness more like my "earthquake," off-balance sensations?“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” Thoreau
04-03-2012, 02:30 AM #2
04-03-2012, 02:55 AM #3.
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
- California, USA
I've had the spinning sensation several times as a side effect of 3-day Solu-Medrol treatments. I've never had it any other time, and never had nausea along with it.
I've also had the "whoosh" sensation several times, but only when my menopausal hormones are out of whack. That's suggestive of it being a brain-centered phenomenon rather than ear centered. I'm theorizing that the same sensation is possible in demyelinating diseases when parts of a movement sensation reach the brain, or are processed by the brain, at slightly different times (milliseconds).
My balance is a little "off" since having a couple of spinal cord lesions. But it's never a feeling of movement or dizziness.
Do you have a brainstem lesion(s)? Brainstem lesions can affect the vestibular system without being an ear problem or vertigo. Hopefully your neuro can comment on this now that the ENT has ruled out an ear issue.
Your comparison to being in an earthquake brings one other thing to mind. What happens to your feeling of being off balance when you're in motion, like riding in a car, elevator or on an escalator? Does it get better, get worse, or stay about the same? If it gets better, one area to investigate is disembarkment syndrome ([I]mal de debarquement[/I]). Google it and see if any of it sounds familiar. Otherwise, what you're experiencing could very well be a brain-centered phenomenon, possibly caused by out-of-sync signals reaching your motion-processing centers at different times.
Whatever it is, I hope it clears up and you feel better soon.
04-03-2012, 03:52 AM #4
I'm having a cervical/spinal MRI May 1, and then I will see my neuro again, so I will know more then. At this point, I have only had a head MRI, and it only showed punctate lesions in the frontal lobe. So, I am not even diagnosed with MS. Neuro says there is something central nervous system related, but he isn't saying what yet.
As for the motion thing, my off-balance issues actually get worse in elevators, but not in the car. It is really strange. I tend to think it is a disconnection between the movement and my brain processing the movement, too.
Nothing is ever simple, is it?“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” Thoreau
04-03-2012, 04:26 PM #5
I have had both. When I had what your ENT described as "vertigo" (spinning room/nausea/vomiting) I was told it was an inner ear infection. Went away after about 3 days w/natural antibiotics & rest. it's happened 3X. I now question that dx b/c my chiro at time made it & I've since learned it is a MS sx (he missed several big sx when I was seeing him).
"Earthquake" off-balance is not an uncommon sx for me, almost daily. Elevators are not fun but I've not noticed it in cars.Dx 10/2008
Beta Babe 12/2008-07/2013
04-04-2012, 10:42 PM #6Registered Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
The findings where I had 50% damage to my left inner ear caused by some event they couldn't pinpoint. But my body had compensated for it or rather it had corrected itself.
By the way I was also dealing with hyperacusis which is a sensitivity to sound.Which I still deal with off and on especially when the barametric pressure drops.(weird I know) That lasted longer than the dizziness.
ENT said he could do nothing b/c it was neurological.
I have now been dealing with the same symptoms again for the last 2months had pcp order a brain MRI b/c my neuro wouldn't. (another story). findings were I had what they believed to be was sinus infection. treated with oral 4mg 5 day of steroids and antibiotics. Didn't help any.
When I described my dizziness to my neuro who is an MS specialist he said the symptoms were typical of CENTRAL VERTIGO. He also explained about the inner ear damage and the hyperacusis.
He said it had something to do with the Ms nerve damage that was connected somewherebetween the brain and ear it's been a while so I can't remember and am probally not saying it right.
Anyway I am now being treated with 3 day Solumedrol as I did in 2010. I had an MRI later and I had some activity going on so he put me on another 3day round. Hopefully I won't have to do that again.
I REALLY hope you get to feeling better and you get a true diagnosis.
04-07-2012, 02:46 AM #7Registered Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
I have the "earthquake" off balance almost everyday. I get worse in elevators, cars, in a rocking chair, in a swing etc. As a matter of fact that was what got me my MS diagnosis.
Have had this for almost 10 years. Some days it is worse than others. I have a lesion on my pons. I take meclizine for it and it helps.
04-07-2012, 05:08 AM #8
I told my husband today that it is kind of like being on a waterbed with your eyes closed. I have this really bad when I'm lying down sometimes even! Weird!“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” Thoreau
04-15-2012, 04:01 PM #9Registered Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- United States
I just began having vertigo last night. Feels like I'm on a boat, okay when I sit still. (elevators have bothered me for years). Does this go away with most people, or is it something I have to adapt to? Read that Dramamine helps, so will try that.
04-15-2012, 05:16 PM #10
06-09-2012, 06:10 PM #11
simple grace, you explained my vertigo exactly.
mine is not ENT related.
when neuro ran the 3 days of tests -the computer one with electrodes on your head and watching the screen - i almost fell out of the chair.
he dxd it as vertigo & MS but the vertigo he explained is neuro damage no cure. i take 5mg of diazepam 4x daily since 2002.
until this last relapse that has been enough to calm it so i can manage not too be so 'drunk' all the time. after 3 rounds of roids, last one being 4days of IV solumedrol it has gotten better. tho it likes to hit me without any warning so i've fallen a lot. numb legs don't help situation.
elevators are torture!!!!!!!!!!!!
i can finally go down our stair chair without holding on for dear life.
you're not alone on this merry go round. i got me one of those 'cloud pillows' because even with my ergonomic foam pillow, i felt like my head was rolling off the bed. my DH would find me on my stomach with fistfuls of mattress/ sheets. i felt like i was going off the bed! thank goodness that has eased up.
but i'm using the cloud pillow it cradles my head nicely and is cooler than the memory foam one.
i pray they find rx to help you. neuro told me lots of MSrs take diazepam 5 mg for vertigo. you might want to ask. it's helped me for 10 yrs.
hope you get a ticket off the merry go round!
God bless ya!"All things are possible for those who believe." Jesus
06-09-2012, 07:34 PM #12Registered Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- bakersfield, CA
Double vision accompanied
Yes, I experienced vertigo along with double vision. It was the strangest thing ever. Double vision is so weird. Initially I though my eyes were tired but I slowly began seeing double and feeling very dizzy. Well that was over a year ago, and I was put on my usual IV steroid treatment, and it went away.
06-10-2012, 05:38 AM #13Registered Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
- Mich. RRMS 1/26/2010
Vertigo? NO, but almost everything else.
Sometimes I have had the water bed sensation, for about a week a couple years ago, it was weird but relaxing at the same time. (gentile wave like)
While my vestibular issues vary a bit, its been better the past couple years. I had P/T for it a few years ago. One thing I was taught, was to move eyes first, before moving head in a direction.
Earthquake? never experienced one.
Boat, now that fits me, like walking on a moving boat yet I am on dry land.
I was sent to a ENT over 5 years ago. He had a brain MRI done, simply noted CNS issue (no dx) investigate if warranted. Two falls, both requiring surgery, in less than a year, I guess was not enough to investigate!
I have had diplopia since I was 18, had to start wearing glasses w/prisms after high school. I can go for years between prism changes, but it's hell till I get them updated.
One time while stationed in Albany Ga a glasses shop got my prisms wrong and I felt like the man walking at a wild angle in the veggie, talk about feeling drunk!
Gomer Sir Falls-a-lot
06-10-2012, 03:38 PM #14
I've had all three now...
Just had true vertigo the end of March that sent me to the ER, spinning (clockwise), nausea, double vision. Neuro explained that there is a new lesion at the brain stem that affects the eye movements, thus the whoosh when you turn your head too fast or move your eyes it take a few seconds for them to "catch up" to your movement...
Prior to this I had what I thought was vertigo, movement laying down, etc. but believe that was related to inner ears.
The dizziness (drunk sailor or on a boat) feeling and off-balance issues were left after the 2004 'vertigo' went away, but improved with the Ampyra. I've not noticed it any worse in cars or elevators, but the true vertigo was, so I suspect that that is the eye movement issue with brain stem lesion.Prob MS 9-14-04; Dx PPMS 9-16-11; RRMS 12-15-11
Ampyra 10mg 2xday