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Do you have problems moving your head?

Seriously, does anyone else have this problem or is it me alone? Moving it brings about a wave of unsteadiness. For instance, I’m in our break room at work, standing up but bending over the table reading the newspaper. Somene comes in and says, “good morning bookworm,” and I obviously have to turn towards them to say hello but it brings such a horrible feeling over me when I do this. When I do have to turn I need to move my entire body, robot style, I can’t just move my head, it is too upsetting.

And when I am standing in there waiting for my lunch to heat up if I have to talk to someone and carry on a conversation and focus my eyes on that person it brings terrible unsteady feelings to me, to the point where I can barely walk out of there.

And I’m finding it increasingly difficult to enjoy one of my favorite pastimes - that of browsing in bookstores. I used to love this and could spend hours at B&N. Now it makes me sick to scan the shelves as I have to move my head and eyes. And furthermore I can’t even see the titles with either the top or bottom of my bifocals. I tend to look much more at books that are spread out on a table rather than on the shelves, as there is much less head moving involved and my focus is better at that distance. I’m finding more and more that as I walk down the aisles I need to hold on the something. I used to be able to whiz up and down the aisles but now I will sometimes stand in the same spot for 5 minutes pretending to be very interested in something just because I feel too unsteady to move. And then hold on as I move along.

I don’t know if these are MAV issues or “old-age” issues, which really scares me, or if there is some terrible physical thing wrong with me. How does one tell the difference?

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Hi Book

Yes, I get exactly as you describe. I think it’s got worse recently.like you I find myself actively avoiding turning my head. Even turning off the bedside light to go to sleep!

It sucks.

Dizzy Liz x

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I have similar issues with moving my head, especially if I do it quickly. If I’m walking, unless I can move without shaking my head, it feels like I have “bobble head” where it’s bouncing freely on my neck… weird. It makes it difficult to focus my eyes while moving and the more visual confusion, the worse it is. When I say visual confusion, I’m talking about “busy environments”, with lots of colours, patterns, or movement (leaves fluttering). If I’m walking and turn my head suddenly to focus on something happening to the left or right, I stagger as my center of balance seems to have shifted.

As for your problem being age related, I don’t believe that for a second. Most people never experience dizziness without a cause and old age is not a cause! High or low blood pressure is a cause, migraine is a cause, BPPV is a cause, and many others - too often doctors (and others) will simply shrug and say “it’s because you are getting older” - doesn’t mean there isn’t a cause!

Cat

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Oh yes, I so much feel like bobble head. I just got back from a dr appt (not vertigo related) and I found sitting still in the waiting room so difficult, I kept feeling as if I would “wobble over.”

I’ve heard many others say that they feel better driving. I’ve never felt that until recently. Now when I am driving I don’t feel as wobbly, it’s so strange. Then when I stop at a light and other cars are rushing past me I feel so terrible. Of course, I can’t be a passenger, that is totally different and I feel motion sick just thinking about that.

Oddly, another thing I have noticed is that I am better if I am walking fast rather than slow - example, in the mall it is very difficult for me to shop and browse, it’s the starting and stopping that make me feel unbalanced. But if I am walking fast from one end of the mall to the other I do much better. I’m so envious of those who can do something so simple, like clothes shopping, and not have to think about holding on the rack or tuning very slow, they just move without a problem.

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There are so many things that you say that I can relate to. The bobble head feeling. I was at the doctor today and I felt like I was going to rock out of the chair. It is an awful feeling. I was gripping the arms of chair…just in case. I agree with Cat, it is not age related. This started for me in my late 30’s and I had several doctors tell me that it was because I was getting older. I think that is code for, “I have no idea”.

Kat

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Yes, yes, and yes to everything last thing you described! And my husband always asks why I’m walking so fast; I think it’s the same thing, that I simply feel better that way. Also, I was at a library story time with my baby last week, and during a song we all had to walk (slowly) in a circle. Even just from that I felt so sick; I just tried to look down at my baby instead of at everyone else to minimize the visual impact.

MAV started for me a few days after I turned 21 (26 now), so definitely not age-related.

— Begin quote from "bookworm"

Oddly, another thing I have noticed is that I am better if I am walking fast rather than slow - example, in the mall it is very difficult for me to shop and browse, it’s the starting and stopping that make me feel unbalanced. But if I am walking fast from one end of the mall to the other I do much better.

— End quote

Hi,
you might want to check out this thread and the link I provided in the first post:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2981&p=25051#p25051

“***A chance observation of a dog with acute left unilateral vestibular failure, however, showed us that running is safer [1]. After awakening one day, the dog suddenly showed a severe postural imbalance and repeatedly fell to the left. When she stood still, head movements caused the falls. When walking slowly, she veered to the left, staggered about in counterclockwise circles and repeatedly fell. Surprisingly, once the dog was outside and began to trot, she was suddenly able to move without deviating from her course, and obviously felt better and more confident as her raised, wagging tail indicated. However, as soon as she stopped trotting and began to walk slowly she again showed the severe tendency to deviate from her intended path and fell to the left.***”

It’s quite technical/medical, but I think it seems that the vestibular system can be over-ridden by the somatosensory system - I always found it incredible that I can struggle to hold a straight line when walking around the office at work, etc, but on the football pitch I can sprint, twist, turn, all while watching a moving target (i.e. the football) and not feel half as bad!

Tony.

Interesting article, although I feel technically challenged trying to understand it :roll:

It finally explains “why” some of you seem to be able to do things that I cannot. For me, sitting still is my relief from the dizzies and if I could walk with perfect posture, like I was balancing a book on my head, I would not experience the bobble-head. I cannot run, move quickly, or drive - even being a passenger in a car is nasty. I’ve been doing VRT and I am improving slowly (at least I’m attributing the improvement to that) as I can actually do the “heel -toe” straight line without losing my balance & falling over. I would never have been able to pass the “impaired driver” roadside test during the past 5 months. :lol:
Cat

1 Like

— Begin quote from "TeeCee"

“***A chance observation of a dog with acute left unilateral vestibular failure, however, showed us that running is safer [1]. After awakening one day, the dog suddenly showed a severe postural imbalance and repeatedly fell to the left. When she stood still, head movements caused the falls. When walking slowly, she veered to the left, staggered about in counterclockwise circles and repeatedly fell. Surprisingly, once the dog was outside and began to trot, she was suddenly able to move without deviating from her course, and obviously felt better and more confident as her raised, wagging tail indicated. However, as soon as she stopped trotting and began to walk slowly she again showed the severe tendency to deviate from her intended path and fell to the left.***”

Tony.

— End quote

Tony - VERY INTERESTING!!! Though the article was a little bit technical for me also. I"m going to take another look when I have more time, but for now it is good to read something that I can relate to. If I can ever find a dotor to help me with this I’m going to print out this article and take it to me and

Hi Cat and Bookworm,
yes, it’s way too technical for me too! But from what I can gather, if as part of its range of effects, MAV is causing some kind of issue with the vestibular system, and we usually feel this (as dizziness, balance issues, etc), then when we move faster or run and exercise etc, the vestibular system can be overidden by the somatosensory system, so we get some kind of temporary ‘bypass’ of the faulty vestibular system and therefore feel less un-balanced…?!!
Tony.

Tony
I find it interesting that there are 2 different results from the same action. As the paper described some people get relief ( or at least are able to overcome their dizziness) when moving very rapidly. Your more understandable format: “then when we move faster or run and exercise etc, the vestibular system can be overidden by the somatosensory system, so we get some kind of temporary ‘bypass’ of the faulty vestibular system and therefore feel less un-balanced…?!!”

Starting from the same dizzy point, if I move slowly, carefully, concentrating on my positioning within space, my balance and walk is almost dizzy-free. But, if I start moving quickly, jogging or running, I become extremely unbalanced. I believe that my eyes are the most important part of my balance mechanism. I can stand perfectly still, even balance on one foot, but if I close my eyes, I fall over. When I move quickly, my eyes cannot focus on moving objects - doesn’t matter if it’s my body carrying myself forward, or sitting in a car or boat moving or bouncing, it has the same effect. For me, the horizon bounces and jiggles and I cannot balance or position myself without that focus.
Cat

Bookworm - you dont have BPPV as well as MAV do you? I know MAV can mimic BPPV, but you can also get both together (I did). The head movement thing your described I used to get all the time, and I think that was more the BPPV side of things.

— Begin quote from "DizzyCat"

Tony
I find it interesting that there are 2 different results from the same action. As the paper described some people get relief ( or at least are able to overcome their dizziness) when moving very rapidly. Your more understandable format: “then when we move faster or run and exercise etc, the vestibular system can be overidden by the somatosensory system, so we get some kind of temporary ‘bypass’ of the faulty vestibular system and therefore feel less un-balanced…?!!”

Starting from the same dizzy point, if I move slowly, carefully, concentrating on my positioning within space, my balance and walk is almost dizzy-free. But, if I start moving quickly, jogging or running, I become extremely unbalanced. I believe that my eyes are the most important part of my balance mechanism. I can stand perfectly still, even balance on one foot, but if I close my eyes, I fall over. When I move quickly, my eyes cannot focus on moving objects - doesn’t matter if it’s my body carrying myself forward, or sitting in a car or boat moving or bouncing, it has the same effect. For me, the horizon bounces and jiggles and I cannot balance or position myself without that focus.
Cat

— End quote

Hi Cat,
it’s all so complex, isn’t it? So, unlike book and myself, you feel better moving slower. And yet I too must be over-relying on my eyes for balance, because in the dark my balance deteriorates noticeably! As beechleaf says (hi beechleaf!), do you also have anything else going on, like BPPV perhaps…?
Tony.

In the dark my balance also deteriorates rapidly, but this makes me question - isn’t this true for most people whether or not they have balance issues? Or maybe not, I really don’t know. I’ll have to start asking around.

I don’t think I have BPPV, I tested negative for it in both the VNG and at the doctor’s office test. I don’t even know how to explain my problems anymore, they are so varied and complex. :frowning:

— Begin quote from "bookworm"

In the dark my balance also deteriorates rapidly, but this makes me question - isn’t this true for most people whether or not they have balance issues? Or maybe not, I really don’t know. I’ll have to start asking around.

I don’t think I have BPPV, I tested negative for it in both the VNG and at the doctor’s office test. I don’t even know how to explain my problems anymore, they are so varied and complex. :frowning:

— End quote

Hi,
personally, my balance in the dark was not like a ‘normal’ persons balance would be - I can say that with utter confidence, because I still remember being ‘normal’ myself (albeit 3 years ago) and my balance was fine in the dark. Yes, of course you can’t see where you’re going, but my actual vestibular/balance system still kept me upright and stable, whereas once MAV set in, I was all over the place in the dark - falling to the left, then the right, wobbling around, trying to walk a straight line, etc. And also, once Topamax has started to work for me, I have noticed my balance improving slightly in the dark, presumably as the MAV mechanism retreats…?!
Tony.

— Begin quote from "TeeCee"

Hi Cat,
it’s all so complex, isn’t it? So, unlike book and myself, you feel better moving slower. And yet I too must be over-relying on my eyes for balance, because in the dark my balance deteriorates noticeably! As beechleaf says (hi beechleaf!), do you also have anything else going on, like BPPV perhaps…?
Tony.

— End quote

I was tested for BPPV and I was told that wasn’t an issue, but I personally believe that my vestibular system was injured (viral or bacterial) because of an infection that I had at the on-set of symptoms (twice). I have tinnitus in my left ear with a high constant whine that was a result of the first episode in 2010 - annoying!

— Begin quote from "bookworm"

In the dark my balance also deteriorates rapidly, but this makes me question - isn’t this true for most people whether or not they have balance issues? Or maybe not, I really don’t know. I’ll have to start asking around.

I don’t think I have BPPV, I tested negative for it in both the VNG and at the doctor’s office test. I don’t even know how to explain my problems anymore, they are so varied and complex. :frowning:

— End quote

My balance in the dark was always very good which makes these new circumstances difficult, to say the least. I think that most people have relatively good balance in the dark and the only completely blind person that I’ve known didn’t have any balance problems in the dark. :?

I agree with you on the difficulty of explaining symptoms… :roll: Mine vary from day to day and throughout the day.
Cat

Book,

I already have this motion condition in my head to begin with and if i look underneath my bed for something it aggravates and can make it worse.

Joe

Dizziness on head movement or any self movement is typical of MAV. If I can turn my head left and right freely, I have no head/ear pressure and my balance is fine. If I can do the same outside walking I’m A1 and can walk at my pre-MAV fast pace. If I’ve head pressure and more particularly ear pressure, balance is rubbish, I feel unsteady and can only walk slowly. Since chronic MAV walking outside in the dark is impossible.

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Im a danger to myself walking anywhere in the dark…im like a drunk then have even gone round in circles and fell!!! I NEED light to get around
Jo x

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Haha @Onandon03 @Jojo65 I can’t even find my way to the toilet in the middle of the night! :woozy_face::see_no_evil:

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