MAV And Inner ear Virus at same time?

Hi Everyone,

So grateful to have found this site! It is very comforting to know that you aren’t the only one. I have never had headaches, and whenever a friend asked if I ever got them I’d laugh and say, “No but I just get dizzy!” Having no clue that something like MAV existed.

I actually have experienced vertigo since I was in 6th grade and the ENT never could diagnose me with anything and told me to take meclizine when needed which worked for me back then because the dizziness would go away after about an hour or so. I battled this maybe 4-6 times a year (mainly if I didn’t eat, not enough sleep or overslept, before my period- hormonal?) It always ended and I’d go on with life. I was VERY motion sick prone and would get sick on amusement rides, airplanes, etc.

Fast forward to the present where I have been dizzy for over 1 month. I had my baby 1 month ago and 3 days later when my milk came in, BAM! I was so dizzy. Being that I just underwent a c-section and was on pain medications, it was easy to blame it on that, but I knew this was something inner-ear related.

My symptoms-
Dizzy/rocky 24/7
Ears plugged- hard to “pop”
Had neck pain in beginning on both sides
Right ear hurt for 1 day but Dr. said no ear infection
No nausea
Vision is slightly blurry?? Let’s just say it’s not 20/20 like it usually is
I’m the biggest air head right now! It’s hard to concentrate and pretty forgetful
Being in the car is the only time I feel normal again.
Overall, no headaches but have noticed some light head pain recently.
Short ringing in the ear recently, maybe twice a day lasting only 5-10 seconds, this is a new symptom, didn’t have this in my other attacks.

MRI, ultrasound on neck, blood testing- clear

I went to see a nuerologist, Dr. Ian Purcell, (have to pay out of pocket! $$$) who is also known as the dizzy doctor here in California. He didn’t give me a diagnosis but strongly believed it was MAV and ruled out BPPV because my eyes didn’t move. I then went to an ENT through my insurance and he told me that my case is way above his “practice of medicine,” great, that’s comforting and sent me to a Otolaryngologist who did a hearing test and came to the conclusion that I had MAV as well and sent me to another nuerologist since that wasn’t his field of study.

This new nuerologist came to that conclusion as well and put me on medrol (steroids) which I started today and inderol (beta blocker) started yesterday.

This entire time I have had bronchitis and a sinus infection and were on 2 rounds of antibiotics. None of them seem to think I had an inner ear virus as well as MAV, is this possible??

Is vestibular nueritis an inner ear virus? Can they test to see if you have this?

Are migraines hormonal? I’m still breast-feeding but wondering if this is making it worse?

Any information would be so helpful and look forward to hearing from your own experience. I am in dizzy hell like the rest of you and would like to be able to hold and enjoy my newborn! Thanks!

Hi there,

Everything you describe easily fits MAV. I doubt you have a virus going on and your sinus problems are probably migraine related as well. Have a read through the MAV Survival Guide. You should be able to recognise yourself in their as it covers all the bases.

Best … Scott

Hi Scott, thank you so much for your reply. I understand that you had VN and it experienced the “big bang” into MAV?? I wonder if that is what happened to me as well. Have you ever felt “normal?” Has the rocking ever stopped for you? I’m very scared since my dizziness has been 24/7 for the last 6 weeks- I’m surprised I can even type this right now.

Hi Salem,

No, I have never been quite the same since. Close, but no cigar. My 100% now is a different version of what was … maybe we all inhabit a parallel MAV universe? :lol:

I never got the rocking part of this thankfully but I am still very susceptible to visual vertigo – especially from computer screens.

— Begin quote from ____

I battled this maybe 4-6 times a year (mainly if I didn’t eat, not enough sleep or overslept, before my period- hormonal?) It always ended and I’d go on with life. I was VERY motion sick prone and would get sick on amusement rides, airplanes, etc … I had my baby 1 month ago and 3 days later when my milk came in, BAM!

— End quote

It sounds like the changes in your hormone levels and physiology since giving birth lit the fuse to the present attack. Your history really is classic migraine stuff.

Is migraine hormonal? For me, absolutely! Perimenopause is what started the dizziness part of migraine for me.

And I didn’t think I was having migraine headaches, but neurologist informed me that MOST people who self-medicate for “sinus” headaches are actually migraineurs, and I was one of them. Don’t let the description of a typical migraine headache confuse you, as it did me; I thought that since mine weren’t usually one-sided headaches, and since I could go to work and didn’t need to stay at home in the dark I couldn’t possibly be having migraine headaches.

Before I saw a neurologist, I first went to my primary care doc for the dizziness, and he tried treating me for an inner ear infection - that didn’t help. So that clearly wasn’t the problem. It wasn’t until after a trip to an urgent care center (after yet another severe episode of dizziness) that I got a referral to a neurotologist (who diagnosed) then neurologist (who treated).

I have had sinus infections before, though, and I definitely had a headache during those due to the “brick” of congestion that was stuck in my sinuses - my neurologist asked me if I’d ever had a true sinus infection and when I said yes, he said THAT’s what a sinus headache is…so if you aren’t having much of a headache, are you sure you’ve really had a sinus infection? Not questioning the bronchitis, but a mild headache like you describe sounds more like the migraine headache many MAV’ers get. (My sinus infection headaches were killers: there was SO much pressure and not enough room in there, it felt like my sinuses might explode, and the bones in my face hurt.)

All of your other symptoms, too, sound like what many of us have dealt with. It’s scary when it goes on for weeks! For many of us, fortunately, treatment has worked. And even if they don’t find the right treatment, many others find that there is some let up in their symptoms, even if it’s because their vestibular system has recalibrated itself (there’s a description of that here on this website). Treatment has worked for me - I’m on Topamax, and it took awhile but no more severe dizzy spells, not even the daily wobbly feeling I used to have.