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What causes ringing in ears, drop in heart rate,tunnel vision and vibrating sensations?

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Practicing since : 2004
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Hi, I've had a lot of strange neurological symptoms for a few years now with no real answers, but there is something that comes up repeatedly, which is that when I position my body in certain orientations, something happens. For example, if I lie down on my stomach and prop myself up on my elbows, pressure builds in my head and my hearing starts cutting out with my pulse. If I sit with my shins on the floor and my rear raised, like if I were sitting on the floor at my desk to use the computer instead of sitting in the chair, sometimes my ears will start ringing, my heart rate will drop significantly, and I'll have tunnel vision, vibrating sensations, and need to lie down. If I stand on my toes in a certain way, sometimes I will have horizontal nystagmus. I don't usually get dizzy upon standing. I'll just sit in a certain way and then my blood pressure drops, or strange things will happen in general. I used to have absolutely terrible ice-pick headaches that would last for months. What does this implicate? I have had a brain MRI which came back unremarkable. If it's helpful, I cant curve my lower back outwards if I try to touch my toes. I feel constantly out of it and my memory is terrible. (I also have episodes where I will lose half my vision (the right side will be a dark green/black blob), I will feel very warm, my hands will tremble, and I will have the sensation that the floor is bouncing up and down even though I am standing still. This has only happened a handful of times, and usually only lasts 5 minutes. Not sure if that is related though.)
Posted Tue, 4 Mar 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Explaining the possibilities Detailed Answer: Hello I am Dr Saumya Mittal. MD I will try to help you understand the problem you have. The answer may be a bit complicated cause I will have to use medical terms, but I think you will understand, cause from your query, I think you do have some command on medical terms, like horizontal nystagmus term you used. I will start by saying that there are several possibilities. I will try to explain them to you one by one- You see the brain is a closed structure. There is a layer of fluid outside and a layer of fluid inside. There may be an increase in the pressure in these positions whenever you assume these positions, because typical to most of your positions is an increased pressure in the chest which makes the blood pump faster. So there is a possibility that the pressure in your csf (fluid in and around brain) is increasing which may cause you to have symptoms like heaviness of head, feeling of beats in the head, mild headache, vertigo, pressure on eyes and sometimes a tubular type of vision. I am guessing that as soon as you get up the symptoms become ok, because your pressure is relieved. As for the problem of getting low blood pressure on getting up, I can say that this is usually almost the reverse. When you get up, the blood is pulled into the legs by gravity. So the blood pressure may drop. This is usually avoided by compensatory mechanisms of the body, like faster heart beats etc. In your case the compensatory mechanisms may not be sufficient. So you develop the low blood pressure and possibly the symptoms of vertigo, darkness of vision when you stand and other such symptoms. Now there are many reasons for this to happen- one of the most common is reduced fluid intake. So make a check of that. Are you having 2-3 litres/day? I will also suggest checking other treatable causes like sugars and thyroid, and levels of viamin B12 and folate. Now this all is regulated by what is called baroreceptors in your carotids. They are small receptors that take care of your blood pressure and circulation of blood to the brain. I will suggest you make sure you are avoiding clothes that are tight on the neck, cause they may cause pressure on the baroreceptors causing symptoms- in all the positions, whether squatting, or tip toeing etc, the clothes may be causing the pressure on the neck. So take care of that. These problems, especially the pressure symptoms are more probable in the patients of valvular heart diseases, like mitral valve or aortic valve. Please do look into this. If there is any further query, I would welcome them and appreciate them and try to respond to them. Best of luck Dr Saumya Mittal
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Follow-up: What causes ringing in ears, drop in heart rate,tunnel vision and vibrating sensations? 11 hours later
Thanks for your response. I do not drink enough water, so I will address that. I forgot to mention when I'm lying on my stomach and propped up on my elbows/arms, in addition to the pressure in head and hearing loss, I get hot flashes down my back. These feelings do diminish when I get up or change position, but I chronically feel off and wrong. Wish I could explain more clearly. I could not read books for a few years, as I'd forget what I just read. For a period of months, I could not sense heat in my fingertips and had to test the heat of food with the back of my hand. I react strangely to some antibiotics, particularly Ceftin, which caused heart palpitations which felt like XXXXXXX panic attacks that would happen many times a minute, hot flashes, and the vague feeling my limbs were not my own. I understand these are a lot of things that don't necessarily go together. My B12 levels were good. Folate has not been checked. Sugars are fine, and thyroid function is inconsistent. Usually borderline low or normal, but not extremely low or anything. I do have a nodule on my thyroid, and I'm not on any synthetic hormones. I suppose my worry is that I messed up my neck or back somehow when I fell a few years ago, as things have not really been the same since then. It's a silly story, but I took a Benadryl to sleep and woke up with an extremely heavy head, and when I got out of bed for water an hour or so later, my head felt like it weighed so much and I couldn't hold it up and I stumbled and fell across the room. If this does not make sense, where do you recommend I go with this? I was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope and erythromelalgia by a cardiologist awhile back. Should I start with a family practitioner or an internist again? Thanks so much!
Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal 6 hours later
Brief Answer: Check out MRI spine Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your confidence and a review response First, all that I explained yesterday was all about neurocardiogenic syncope put in a larger number of words. I am happy you already know about the problem, since that means you are on treatment for the same. As for the back pain and history of fall with loss of sensation of the arm/hand, i would definitely agree with you that you might have developed some back problem. I would suggest to you an xray/MRI of the cervical spine with screening of the entire spine. This way we can test that spine to be sure. In case there is a problem there we will need a good physiotherapist (assuming there is no fracture/compression in which case you will need a neurosurgeon). Please do let me know the reports of MRI (preferably)/X ray. As for your thyroid, did you have a thyroid FNAC from the nodule? And what were your last levels? And when? Pease do respond with details, so I can help you further Dr Saumya Mittal, MD
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