Where do I start?

Hello. I am a newbie here and I am trying to find out what I can do to help me with my symptoms.

I am 65, pretty healthy, not overweight, and was happy going along, until about 5 weeks ago. That was the first time I had a weird sensation that something was not OK. It felt like I was drunk. Some brain fog or dizziness, a sort of spinning sensation (although spinning is the wrong word), and the feeling of being not in balance. It went away after a few minutes, but since then it has progressed so that the “weird state” is now almost the normal state with brief interruptions where I feel well. I am trying to find out what this could be and what I can do.
So, at the moment, when I feel weird, I have the following symptoms:

dizziness (the feeling as if I am not entirely awake)

brainfog (I have the impression my brain is slow)

vertigo (not the vertigo where everything is spinning). It is more like things around me are wobbly and need to stabilize after I move my head. Moving head up or down is more or less OK, moving sideways causes the most issues. When I walk, the path before me seems to move, probably from the steps moving my head).

sometimes sweating

imbalance (when I walk and turn, it feels like the floor is unstable)

mild headaches (mostly sides of head)

tinnitus (it is a constant whistle in my left ear. In the right ear I have sometimes a whooshing sound, like a washing machine). The whistle is sometimes very noticeable, sometimes almost gone. The whooshing sound seems to be coming and going)

I saw a doctor and she checked my eardrums, but couldn’t see anything. I told her that I had some shoulder/neck issues on the left side, and she thought that there could be strain on the neck causing the issues. I have an appointment with a physical therapist tomorrow .

I am not on any medications, except a low dose statin and a baby aspirin, but I take a range of supplements.

I am trying to cope with this and get back to a somewhat normal state, as this is interfering with my life.

Any suggestions are welcome :slightly_smiling_face:

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Welcome! And sorry you are experiencing this.

My top two suggestions:

Seeing a specialist will get you into a workup to run all the diagnostics, get a diagnosis and begin any appropriate treatment plan.

Thanks. I saw my doctor and she referred me to a Physical therapist, who spent an hour with me and did some tests. She concluded that I have VOR issues. That, I think gives me a point to start. She gave me some exercises I should follow, and we have set a number of follow-up visits. I’ll see if there is anything else I can do to support this.

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Apologies for the late reply but I’ve only just seen your post.

Your symptoms sound similar to my own. I was diagnosed with acute labyrinthitis some years ago which resulted in severe vertigo. Very long story short, I haven’t had any vertigo for a while now but I do get balance issues similar to those you describe (eg. walking as if drunk, brainfog, tinnitus) on a daily basis. I also have problems with fluorescent light, loud sounds and supermarkets although there are signs that the latter might be easing (touch wood!).

It took 18 months for me to get a proper diagnosis. I now take medication and perform vestibular rehabilitation exercises daily which, I think, prevent my symptoms from getting worse.

The best thing I did in treating the condition was to consult an otolaryngologist (ENT with bells on). He was able to give me a sound diagnosis where others had failed and arranged for a series of in-depth tests to establish if the labyrinthitis had caused any lasting damage. If your PT doesn’t work out I’d certainly echo James’s suggestion to consult a specialist.

Either way, I’d be interested to hear how you get on with the PT. If I get the chance (poorly wife), I’ll post some more later.