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Dr. Tom
Dr. Tom, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 264
Experience:  30 years experience treating patients with eye problems
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My 12 year old son is very dizzy, ringing in his ear, feels

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My 12 year old son is very dizzy, ringing in his ear, feels like he's falling. The room is spinning and "he sees lines and dots " and " room shakes up and down". Heart palpitations but maybe just because he's scared. Sensitivity to noise (seems louder). His eyes seem to be darting around the room. That's the part that makes me scared.
Dr. Tom-Eye :

Hi, I'm online now and would be happy to help you with your problem. Just reply and we'll get started. Dr. Tom

Dr. Tom-Eye :

Just to help us get started, please tell me if your son is on any medications and if his pediatrician has made any diagnosis. When is the last time he had a medical checkup? Also please tell me if there has been an evaluation by an ophthalmologist for any type of eye problems.

JACUSTOMER-5bf3l79p- : This just came on suddenly and his dr is not in. He is not on any medication and his eyesight is perfect 20/20
Dr. Tom-Eye :

Great, thanks for the extra information. Has your son had any recent upper respiratory problems?

JACUSTOMER-5bf3l79p- : This just came on suddenly so I haven't take him to his pediatrician yet. He is not on any medications and he has 20/20 vision. Not sure why they gave me an eye dr. No cold or upper respiratory really. The dizziness /"spinning" seems to be coming in waves.
Dr. Tom-Eye :

That's okay, while I'm a ophthalmologist, I've had lots of experience in this area. Give me a second to type out a few thoughts and we'll see where we need to go

JACUSTOMER-5bf3l79p- : He seems a tad confused. And is repeating himself. He's very scared.
JACUSTOMER-5bf3l79p- : Wondering if I should take him to the emergency room.
Dr. Tom-Eye :

. The spinning sensation that your son is feeling is called vertigo. You're probably familiar with that. Vertigo usually comes from a problem in the inner ear. In a youngster a common cause can be a viral. Your sons complain of ringing in his ears and his dizzy feeling goes along with things that are associated with vertigo and the inner ear. And it could certainly lead him to feel like he is going to fall. But we need to talk about this issue of confusion and his eyes moving in what you describe is a darting pattern

JACUSTOMER-5bf3l79p- : Yes. That is what's concerning me. The room is "shaking".
Dr. Tom-Eye :

30 years of experience as a physician and a grandfather of 12 has makes me very aware that parents are exceptionally good judges of the significance of their children's acute problems. If this were limited just to the sort of spinning and dizzy feeling, I would be of the opinion that there was no urgency. However, given what you have described in your last comment about the emergency room leads me to think it might be a good idea. It's probably late where you are and not very convenient, but if you live in a community that has a pediatric emergency service it certainly wouldn't hurt you contacting them. It's possible that they have a person on staff who would be able to do a triage call with you. My suspicion is that this will turn out to be okay but it never hurts. Before you make a decision let's make sure that you and I have discussed all of your questions and concerns. In all probability his comment about the room shaking is related to a youngster's anxiety, but with vertigo it is common that there is a sensation of movement within the environment

JACUSTOMER-5bf3l79p- : Could it be a migraine?
JACUSTOMER-5bf3l79p- : How long can it take to for this vertigo to pass (worst and best case, please) and is their anything I can do to help relieve his systems for the evening, until the pediatrician opens in the morning. He seems so anxious and can't sleep I'm contemplating giving him a tiny piece of my Xanax. ???
Dr. Tom-Eye :

Migraines are certainly capable of causing some of the symptoms. But he has no prior history I think we would be taking a long shot to think that is the cause of all these new symptoms. Vertigo, if caused by a virus, could be somewhat prolonged. Your pediatrician would be an excellent position to make that call for you when you get in touch with him in the morning. You've asked for the worst and best case regarding how long it would take for vertigo to clear. Again I would say if it's a viral it could take a week or so, but if it's due to some mild disturbance in the inner ear is possible that it would be self-limiting. Because of the rapid onset and because of his youth a viral cause is much more likely. It's completely reasonable that he would be anxious, as I am sure you are, with all of these new and alarming symptoms. So I would like to ask you what other questions come to your mind ?|

Actually I chat has not ended, and I will be here until you're satisfied with what I can do to help you.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
I am afraid that switching over to this chat room may have confused things a bit. But I don't want to finish our conversation until you are thoroughly satisfied. So please tell me if you have any other questions?

It looks like you might have broken off from our conversation. I'm still here if you have any other questions tonight, but I would really like to know how things work out for your son, and would love to hear back from you after you have him checked by the pediatrician tomorrow. It's my hunch is that he will be just fine.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. Is there anything I can do to relieve his symptoms so he can sleep?
For his symptoms related to his anxiety the tender loving touch of a concerned parent can't be beat. Perhaps telling him you have had a conversation with Dr. familiar with his type of problem will help him relax. But if you feel that his anxiety and his symptoms of spinning, confusion and abnormal eye movements are progressing, the safest thing for you to do is to bundle him up and carry them to an emergency department. We can't be too careful about new symptoms in a youngster. How do you feel about him at this point?
Dr. Tom and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Before we finish up, please let me know if you have any further questions? I'll be looking to see what the pediatrician tells you tomorrow. So if you don't have anything else for me to chat with you about, please click on the rating. It's my job to be sure that you are satisfied with the response that you received. Please let me know if I have provided the service that you expected. Many thanks.