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Nurse Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1085
Experience:  RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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Hey dr chip I need help! So earlier I was hanging something

Customer Question

Hey dr chip I need help! So earlier I was hanging something on my wall, and got dizzy. And my vision was like shaky. And my eas hurts in the front of my hill. Now I'm laying in bed, and the dizziness is like im spinning in circles almost. I'm freaking out! Is this serious?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 2 years ago.
Hello Customer,

Dr. Chip is not online at the moment, but I have had allot of experience with vertigo (which is what you seem to be describing...the feeling of movement when there is none). You seemed miserable and I wanted you to get the information you needed. Dr Chip is more than free to post a response as well should he wish to. From personal experience I know how distressing and disabling vertigo can be; I empathize with you. I've suffered with this since 2006.

A bit of background: The body regulates balance three ways: the inner ear, the eyes (what we see) and the central brain which puts it all together you could say. If one of those systems are "off" and the other two cant compensate, vertigo will result.

The problem is, people have many ideas and theories, but no one knows for sure why people get vertigo, and online no one can determine your exact cause. Here are some possible causes.

Possible reasons why people get vertigo include migraines, but usually the vertigo is followed by a headache, though there can be migraine vertigo without headache. Often in migraine vertigo there is extreme visual sensitivity; flashing lights, patterns, and high contrast can make the person feel miserable.

There is also cervical vertigo, which is not well understood at all, thought to arise from injuries or trauma to the cervical vertebrae. This does not seem to describe you.

Head trauma can cause vertigo as well. This does not seem to describe you.

A condition called Meniere's disease can also cause vertigo, though that is usually accompanied by ringing in the ears and temporary hearing loss. You don't appear to have this, as you do not state you have ringing in your ears or hearing loss, but no one can state anything for certain online.

Tumors of the inner ear called acoustic neuromas can cause vertigo, but they to are often accompanied by ringing and at times hearing loss. This doesn't seem to be the case from what you write...but again, cant guarantee anything on an online forum.

The most common form of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional...meaning that on sudden movements of the head, spinning sensations develop. That can be a result of little sediments that deposit in the inner ear canal. You were hanging a picture and maybe looking up, so this may be a possible cause of your vertigo.

Vertigo also can be a sign of multiple sclerosis.Onset here is typically sudden, and the person with MS will find themselves unable to move their eyes towards their nose, ie look inwards. This does not seem to describe you.

A rare brain defect called a chiari malformation can result in vertigo.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in vertigo.

Bacteria and viral infections as well can cause vertigo. That was the case in my situation, and I am wondering if it could be what is happening with you; you did have a bad upper respiratory infection (bronchitis) prior to this. Its possible the nerve in your ear that regulates balance was a bit disturbed by the cold you had.

Last on my list is anxiety; anxiety can cause a whole host of symptoms in people because of its affect on the body. While your previous posts mention you do have anxiety, it should be the last thing that is considered as the cause of your vertigo. Physical causes should be ruled out.

Treatment depends on the cause, and the cause is determined by knowing the history and the results of a physical exam. In Menieres disease, often a diuretic is given, as well as a low salt diet as salt is thought to be one of the culprits. In BPPV, exercises can be prescribed to settle the sediments in the inner ear. In vertigo caused by bacteria and viral infections, steroids and valium (when the vertigo was truly bad) can be used, in addition to Meclazine (sold OTC as Bonine).

The length of time it lasts is very dependent on the cause. Some vertigos are remarkably easy to treat while others can be more difficult. Vertigo caused by a cold normally lasts a few weeks to a few months for the truly unfortunate.

The specialist you should see is an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) physician. Neurologists can help as well as vertigo can be centrally caused. There ARE tests that can be done to pinpoint where the vertigo is coming from (central vs. inner ear) . They include things like ENG's and Rotator Chair and Caloric Testing. Those all look for specific abnormal eye movements called nystagmus; the pattern helps determine where the vertigo originates. If you have not seen an ENT I recommend you visit one as you have had this for a few weeks now...at least if I am reading your other questions correctly.

Treatments can include the above medications, and there are also special vestibular rehabilitation specialists who give exercises to help retrain the brain and help it rewire and correct whatever damage the vertigo did, if there is a vertigo present. There are also visual therapists as well should there be a optical cause or exacerbating factor to the vertigo; as is in my case.

What I would suggest is that make an appointment with your doctor and discuss all this, (as it may not even be vertigo...it could be something entirely different; if you feel better after eating you may have low blood sugar issues, for example) and a referral to an ENT or neurologist as needed; when them you can discuss vestibular therapy and see if they think its appropriate for you.

Here is a useful website regarding all things vertigo: http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/index.html

I really and truly hope I was able to help.

Sincerely,

Susan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wow!!! Thank youCustomer!! That was a great reply!

I have had a MRI and it was fine. Had a cardio workup last year and it was good. I've seen an ent and they stuck a camera up my nose and that was normal (lol). I still feel off today. My head hurts only in the front I'm not as dizzy, but still a little bit. I'm seeing a therapist today about anxiety. Hopefully that will help.
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 2 years ago.
Hi Customer,

Thank you so much for your kind words! It makes me feel better if I can help others with the problem Ive had for so long. Please remember to rate my question if you felt it helpful, rating us (positively) is the only way we get paid here, that way Just Answer will release my share of the funds to me.

MRIs often show nothing in vertigo because there is often nothing structural that is damaged for an MRI to see even though there is a real problem. MRIs will show a chiari malformation, for instance...thats a structural defect.. My MRI was fine also; it does not mean there is no vertigo.

You had an ENT scope your nose, that is different than an evaluation for vertigo (and its also quite uncomfortable, I had that as well, for something entirely different). If this dizziness continues, it may be wise to have an ENT evaluation specifically for the vertigo. But I am happy you are feeling that less.

Hopefully the therapist will help, absolutely anxiety can both cause vertigo and make any existing vertigo feel worse because you are anxious about it and anxiety makes people often breathe too fast which makes all the distressing symptoms with which you are familiar.

Sincerely,
Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1085
Experience: RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
Nurse Susan and 6 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
HiCustomermaybe u can help me again. Tonight I had these quick sharp pains in my chest like in my Brest area. Should I be worried? They were quick but hurt pretty bad!
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 2 years ago.
Hi Customer,

Just Answer policy states that one question per exchange. Follow up questions about the topic are fine, but as your question about chest pain is different, please open a new question; request me if you wish and I will be happy to answer it if I am still online; my own vertigo is bothering me and I may head off for the evening. If I am not online, someone else will assist you.

Sincerely,
Susan

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