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What causes vertigo,headaches and double vision after a head injury?

Feb 2016
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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 1984
Answered : 12558 Questions
Last year I suffered a head injury that did not show up on cat scan, however continues to give problems with balance, dizziness, headaches (that I think are getting fewer and easier to tolerate) , some random double vision episodes, average of one a day, 95% of all spells last only a few minutes,some occasionally up to around 20 min but nearly all make me stop with fear of falling over. I had problems on and off that began around age 35 with dizzy spells from time to time, but they weren't as bad, and not as frequent then. I had seen a neurologist,and ears,nose and throat with cat scan,m.r.i.,and ear tests back then. None showed any thing definite at that time. Whats the possible causes and is this something that is so hard to diagnose that it will take a fortune to determine? I am 54,in fairly good health, past smoker. have been physically active. 5'11'', 200lbs., I take low dose aspirin nightly but no other meds., blood pressure is pretty good,(last check 130/80) Am due for a physical but not really sure of type of Dr. to seek. (ins.coverage doesn't pay for office visits) Can head injuries linger and/or make a previous condition worse? I did have some physical therapy at time (in Spring), and con't. effort to practice exercises has helped with cognition and some better confidence in walking and has helped me to go back to work, but above conditions remain. I work in construction so I try to hide my condition to maintain but live with fear of being discovered and or getting hurt from a fall.
Posted Sat, 22 Mar 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 1 hour later
Brief Answer: MRI angiography. Try Alternative therapy . Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for an elucidate history. It occurs to me that you were already suffering from dizzy spells for the last 19 years and you must have been prescribed all possible medicines. Noted your medical history of Neuro, ENT and scans and recent head-injury with normal CT scan and continuation of the symptoms. Yes head injuries can linger and make previous conditions to deteriorate. Certain problems of neuritis can not be diagnosed by any investigations and are necessarily diagnosed on clinical basis only. Neurologist can help you better to get the proper diagnosis along with a consultation of an ENT. Try to find out a specialty clinic called ' Neuro-Otology' if you have one around. I would advise such patients to go for MRI angiography of the neck and the brain, and to look for the balance apparatus called semi-circular canals; may find some vascular problems as your condition is for so long. Please continue physical therapy as it is helping you. Have you tried alternative therapy like acupressure or puncture?
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Follow-up: What causes vertigo,headaches and double vision after a head injury? 48 hours later
Thank you for your reply Dr. Chandrakant. No alternative treatment has been tried but thanks for your suggestions. I think I will seek out the Neuro-otology. That sounds like it fits to me. I have not had much success with reg.neurologists. The most recent one two months after accident last spring practically accused me of faking my concerns for lack of a large enough goose egg on head at time of accident. I was sure of only one thing, that I hit the side of my head and that I was quite concerned about my inability to think straight, increased dizzy spells and continuing headaches. Anyway, not much came of that encounter except a big XXXXXXX Another way that fits is that at the onset of the dizzy spells ( back in early to mid 90s) I first had and still do occassionally have spells of 'white spot' blindness in my vision. They are dealt with same as these spells, head down, eyes closed etc. Eye Dr. at time thought possibly something vascular as well. These preceeded dizzy spells and when they started happening I figured I better get to m.d. Now it seems because of age or head injury or both I have a greater concern for its possible consequences or severity. For the record there are no law suits involved, I just want to know what, if anything, can be done and how bad can it get. Will my balance continue to deteriorate to the point of another fall? Just how cautious should I be? Not to mention some evidence that I am not just imagining all this drama. Any other thoughts on your part would be appreciated. Thank you again for your help. Sincerely, XXXX
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Follow the guidelines. Detailed Answer: Most welcome. Well the guidelines given above should help you get the answers. The investigations and Neuro-otology help us to decide further management. ( What can be done). It can not get more bad , indeed you can have reduced or no problems once the proper diagnosis leads to a proper treatment in addition to alternative therapy. Cautions:: Yes, please follow the dos and don'ts as for any other suffering from similar problem. Do not be alone , Keep away from heights, stairs, water ( I mean ponds and swimming pools), fire, never to put a latch to the bathroom, bedroom and so on. Do have a company all the time, do follow the guidelines. I know this is not a drama, otherwise I would not have answered this question. The problem is a communication gap between the patient and the Doctor- Which is enhanced by your history as working in construction ( a bit difficult to palliate by some). Please follow fast, you may be better or well treated soon.
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