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Having lightheadedness and pressure in head around ear, weak arms. On Betahistine but don't want to be dependent

Nov 2013
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I have been having lightheadedness and pressure in my head and around my ear. I also have some weakness from time to time in my arm. I am on Betahistine which helps, but I don't want to take it too much and become dependent on it.
I am on a wait list to see a neurologist, but the wait time is about four months. My doctor thinks it is a virus in my inner ear and I just have to wait it out. I am becoming anxious about my whole situation.
Posted Wed, 2 Oct 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
Detailed reply is below

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for posting your query.

Based on your symptoms, there are two possibilities:

1. Labyrinthine dysfunction- which is often due to virus infection in the ear. It gradually improves over time on own, and doing vestibular rehabilitation exercises would help.

2. Cervical spondylosis with disc prolapse- As you also have weakness in the arm, it is possible that you have slipped disc in the neck region.
Doing physiotherapy exercises would help.

In the meanwhile, betahistine is safe and does not cause dependence usually.

I hope it helps.

Please get back if you require any additional information.

Best wishes,

Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Internal Medicine), DM (Neurology) XXXXXXX Consultant Neurologist
Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad,

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having lightheadedness and pressure in head around ear, weak arms. On Betahistine but don't want to be dependent 6 hours later
Thank you for your response. I have had this lightheadedness for about four months. I read that labyrinthitis can go on for several months. My chiropractor does the vestibular rehab. exercises and it does help for awhile and then the lightheadedness, pressure, and weakness returns.
I am worried that my condition might be something more serious like MS or other neurological condition. I am finding it difficult to function at work because of the lightheadedness, pressure, tiredness, and inability to concentrate. It has become very depressing.
Would it be better to take some time off work to rest - would that speed up my recovery time? Is there anything further I could be doing in addition to taking the Betahistine?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
There is little chance of it being MS

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for getting back.

It is very unlikely that your symptoms are due to MS. However, if symptoms persist, then, doing an MRI of brain and spine would help to exclude MS or ischemia (lack of blood flow to brain).

I agree that labyrinthitis can go on for long, but most often people recover in three to four months at the most.

Taking off from work and rest would definitely help you recover faster.

Best wishes,
Dr Sudhir Kumar MD DM (Neurology)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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