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Dizziness, ringing ears, tingling and weakness in arm. Could this be signs of stroke or panic attack?

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My blood pressure is 136/97. I have been feeling dizzy off and on the past few days and ringing in right ear and tingling and weakness in left arm (that has been going on for over a month). Could this be signs of a stroke or a panic attack?
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 5 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The symptoms you have described are not likely to be due to stroke or a panic attack.
These are suggestive of a nerve root compression at the cervical vertebral level due to degenerative disc changes or cervical spondylosis. It happens primarily due to degenerative changes secondary to age in the cervical spine. Past neck injury may also contribute to the degeneration.
Ringing in the ear may be due to a middle ear problem and contributes to dizziness.
X-ray of neck in lateral view or MRI will help in the diagnosis.

Treatment includes
1. Use of cervical collar helps in immobilisation and brings relief.
2. Methylcobalamin supplements are also recommended for nerve compression symptoms.
3. Cervical isometric exercises are beneficial to maintain the strength of the neck muscles. Neck and upper back stretching exercises, as well as light aerobic activities, also are recommended under the guidance of a physical therapist.
4. You can avoid using a pillow.

As you try these measures, I also encourage you to consult an orthopedician for both evaluation and to avail prescription medications. Simultaneously you also need to consult your physician for proper management of hypertension.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
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