Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vertigo Reduz

In 2006, I developed a problem with my ear that scared me. I couldn't lie down without dizziness. Sometimes I couldn't stand up without falling down, either.

I felt like I had a bug in my ear.

It took trips to four different doctors over a very long six weeks before I finally found an ear, nose and throat physician willing to do something other than tell me it was either (a) all in my head or (b) related to my TMJ or (c) something I had to live with it.

While the problem was in my head, it wasn't a mental issue as the doctor implied. In the end, two different allergy medications, a nasal steroid and a steroid shot in the hip fixed the problem.

So too did walking, sitting on an exercise ball and performing balance exercises so I wouldn't feel so out of whack, not drinking caffeine, not eating salt, and sleeping on a 7" wedge so that my head stayed elevated. I also found acupuncture and Chinese herbs helpful.

In recent months I stopped sleeping on the wedge because it makes my back hurt. I am a side sleeper. It's really hard to sleep on your side on a wedge.

Unfortunately, the problem with my ear has returned. The vertigo is not as severe and it so far is only affecting me at night and briefly in the mornings. I am doing everything I did before except for the wedge and the steroid shot, which I would just as soon avoid.

I don't know if it has returned because of the intense pollen this spring or because I stopped the elevated sleeping. Or maybe for some unknown reason, like a new food allergy.

It feels like I have something in my ear all the time. I am convinced it is fluid build up from my allergies.

My acupuncturist/Chinese medicine doctor is sending me a stronger herb formula and I have a needle-sticking scheduled for next week.

The ENT in 2006 offered one other option: have my ear drum punctured and steroids directly dripped into my ear. It is not a choice I have much desire to explore.

I think I would have to be having a much more difficult time before I allowed that to happen.

The ENT also tested me for about 30 different allergy triggers; I reacted to all but one. However, I have not yet resorted to shots. I had them when I was in my teens and 20s and have never been convinced they did much good.

Besides, if I am going to go that route, I would prefer to find an actual allergy specialist, someone who looks at foods, too.

So here's to standing up straight and not falling down! May all my friends stand tall.


  1. Sometimes my vertigo comes back but never as severe as the first bout, which knocked me for a loop. Have you looked into the exercise manipulation for it. My sister had it done.

    I have tried so many alternative therapies because the standard ones didn't work. Mixed results but no side effects at least.

    Feel better!

  2. I'm really sorry you're having ear troubles and vertigo again. I sure hope the acupuncture works. Like Colleen, I have generally found alternative therapies to be much more effective than the traditional ones.
    Saying a prayer for your healing!

  3. Awe I feel bad for you. Ear stuff is awful! I hope that it clears up soon. When I saw the picture all I could think was AAACHOOOO!

    Have a great day!

  4. Colleen - a neurologist friend attempted the exercise thing I think you're speaking of with me. It did not work and he said he didn't think it would because of the way my eyes track when I'm dizzy or something like that.

    Thanks everyone for your good wishes. It will be okay!

  5. Ugh, that's a horrible feeling which I can relate to. I can't have my head low either and if I do something that that triggers it I can't shake the feeling all day. I never would expect it to be allergy related. Let us know how you make out and all the best.

  6. That is terrible what you had to go through to try and find an answer to your dizziness. I have constant buzzing in my ears (tinnitus) and went through the allergy shots too when I was in my late teens. Did nothing to help, needless to say. I used to get constant ear infections with dizziness too. One doc told me to hold my nose closed and gently "blow" my ears open whenever I get a cold or allergies.

    Let us all know how you are doing and take care!


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