Do I have MAV?


I’m new to this forum but not to dizziness.

Basically to cut a long story short (otherwise I’d be here all night) 4 months ago I was happily walking along the path when I suddenly felt very drunk and then I was on the floor, I felt very dizzy and thr world was spinning.

I was diagnosed with labyrinthitis by my GP. After attempts at usual lab tablets and still no improvement so I was referred to a specialist which is where I went today.

I saw a doctor who specialises in Audiological Medicine. He ran a few tests, my hearing was fine and my eyes were fine (he said eyes don’t lie, if you’re really dizzy they will tell me) The balance tests (marching on the spot with your eyes closed etc) I was all over the place.

He diagnosed me with “dizziness migraines” he basically said, when I have a bad dizzy attack and am on the floor unable to focus, concentrate or walk those are the migraine attacks. Any other time when I just feel dizzy, he said this is nothing, it’s in my head, I don’t trust myself not to fall over.

Anyway my symptoms are…dizziness, feeling drunk, spinning, tipping, motion intolerence, fatigue etc. I feel like this basically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But I cope with it, I don’t go out alone because I fall over alot but I manage around the house etc. During bad attacks I am on the floor gripping the pavement for dear life because the world does not stop moving, this is when I can’t walk atall. I am completely useless at these times.

I do think I might have MAV but that the specialist wasn’t very tactful in how he worded things. He made it sound like I was only in this for time off work.

He has said all he can do is tell me to cut out chocolate, alcohol and cheese which is very easy for me because cheese and alcohol I never touch anyway, and chocolate is only very occasionly. If after a month I am no better I have to go to my GP and get some Beta Blockers.

He has said I am to return to work as soon as my sicknote runs out on the 30th November, although he has said I am not allowed to drive atall.

Basically is there anything I can do to combat MAV before the 30th when I go back to work so I feel ok enough to return to work after 4 months of constant dizziness and falling over.

Any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated.



Edited to add- There is no family history with migraines what so ever, and I have never suffered with them before.

Well, I had to wait a while before replying to this because I basically wanted to trash your diagnosing doctor. I still do, but I will be less mean about it.

It has taken four ENTs, an otoneurologist, four GPs and a neurologist—and SIX YEARS—to diagnose me with MAV. So if this person you saw diagnosed you that quickly, either he is a miracle worker, or he is something else. My vote is for something else, particularly with your history.

The stuff about the “dizziness is your imagination” is a most amazing crock of steaming fertilizer; you have a vestibular disorder, not an active imagination. An audiologist deals with hearing, not with dizziness…you probably need to see a neurologist. In fact, if the audiologist thinks you have mav, he should have referred you to one. If vestibular disorders are not his specialty, he should not make a side dish of you, because he is not experienced with your kind of disorder. And he doesn’t seem to be, from the sound of it.

So, seek another opinion.

I have known people with labyrithitis to still have dizzy problems a year later.

And these things are very difficult to diagnose, so if the guy is absolutely sure, in that short of a time, then you absolutely need a second opinion.

(But I bet your first opinion of him is 100% correct! and a neurologist will probably agree with you! )

No matter what you have, anxiety and certain foods/drinks tend to make vestibular symptoms worse. You may be able to figure out just what sets you off by experimenting. It’s not easy going through this, and having this kind of “help” from your doctors is probably frustrating as heck.

Thanks for the reply :slight_smile:

I am pretty much decided whatever is wrong with me, it needs treating. So even if it is “in my head” and me not trusting myself this needs treatment to.

I phoned my doctors to see the GP who has signed me off work the past few months, but she is away until the 4th December so tomorrow I am going to see any GP I can, explain everything to him, and tell him that I want to be taken seriously.

I will of course keep you updated, and feel free to rant about the specialist I saw. Because I have :wink:


Physical therapy for balance is helpful, or it was for me. You might look into that. Your GP may be able to send you. It’s called VRT here in the US…Vestibular Rehabilitiation T-something. It cuts down on the dizzies and nausea.

And it IS in your head…that’s where the vestibular system is. So if he tells you that again, there’s your response.

I went to see a GP today, and she won’t do anything until the specialists letter is there, so she can see what he has said and what the next step would be.

So she’s signed me off until the 8th December and I am to phone them next week, and make an appointment to talk about the specialists notes with a GP.

I went to the doctors, and she was more than happy to give me some tablets now. The tablets are ones recommended, and are supposed to be fast acting, long lasting etc…so fingers crossed.

She basically said I could go back to work or stay at home and wait…I said the sick note runs out Friday, so I will try work for one day (I figured out a new trigger that makes me dizzy)

She said if Friday comes, and I’m not ready for work she will happily sign me off again, basically I am in charge, and just to go with how I feel.

I figured if I go in Friday, as a break me in gently day. Work finishes next Thursday anyway so I’d only have 4 days next week then I would be off till the new year which would be a nice time period for my tablets to kick in good and proper.

And to tell you how useless the specialist was, he contradicted everything he said in the letter to the GP, and I do have something wrong vestibular wise apparently, but what exactly he isn’t sure. :roll:

So it’s kind of try work, see if that helps, if not get signed off and start again.

I actually feel ok about it, I love my job and after being off for 5 months I know it will be a shock to the system to go back, but my GP has said I’m in charge now and she will sign me off again if it doesn’t work quite to plan.

Another trigger I spotted (which doesn’t involve cheese and chocolate) is if I concentrate on where I walk I won’t stumble and feel dizzy, but if I keep looking around, over my shoulder thats when the problems start. So I’m going to wander around like I’ve hurt my neck for a while :wink:

All I can do is try.

(The tablets I am on is propanolol (spelling?) 3 times a day…these were recommended on a site I was searching through, anyone taken them? How long till they kick in?)

Hi - I know this is well after you have made your post but I just read your last post and had to comment.
You said that moving your head around when you walk makes you dizzy so you were going to keep your head still for a while. Can I just say thats the worst thing you can do.
I am currently going through the working out exactly what I have with a consultant. We have started with menieres but I am still investigating…
But the one MAIN thing that I have learnt is that you need to re-educate your brain to adjust for the “damage” that has been done to your vestibular system. Even though it isnt in the least bit pleasant to do it, it will mean that recovery will be quicker. Keeping your head still and doing all the classic protecting yourself actions will mean that it will last longer.
You probably know all this already by now…
I am also interested to know how you have got on? whether you are back at work? I have been off for two months now myself

Hey, I know I’m bringing back an old thread, and haven’t been on since 2006, so have only just seen Kitty’s reply!

Just thought I’d update for anyone else interested.

I went back to work for those few days, and although felt abit weird, felt able to cope. So after the xmas holidays I decided not to get signed off again :slight_smile: It was only part time, so I wasn’t doing long days anyway!

Anyway, in April 2007 I went to work full time, and am still there now!!

I am still on propranolol, although have reduced my dosage considerably. I was on 80mg a day in the beginning, and I am now on 2x 10mg a day. So 20mg. :smiley:

I still get my off days, if I’m tired, stessed or ill it affects me alot, my head starts to feel all stuffy like it’s full of cotton wool, and then I can’t focus…but touch wood I’ve not had another bad attack where I’m on the floor!!

Anyway I’ve had MAV (if that’s what it is!) for 3 years now! Was signed off in the beginning from July to December, went back to work December to April part time and started full time in a busy nursery school in April 2007.

I do have a question though about the propranolol tablets…which I’ll put here and in the appropriate forum…

I know it isn’t wise to skip doses or come off of them suddenly, but I do this frequently. I usually take 2 tablets of 10mg a day whilst at work, at weekend or on annual leave I usually take one a day or just a few in a week. I’ve not had any affect from this, is it because the dose is so low anyway?? The reason I don’t take it when I’m not at work is because I find that I don’t get attacks… Work is very busy, with lots of noise, lots going on, and I find this a trigger for the dizzies, but obviously out of work I’m not in that enviroment so even off of the tablets I don’t get an attack…

Now for instance, I have been off work ill with swine flu for 6 days and haven’t taken any propranolol. I’m feeling abit heady anyway, but this could be because of the flu. I rarely take them when I am off ill…I mean if it was a sickness bug the tablets wouldn’t stay down anyway, so surely that’s the same as not taking them???