Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

147 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

I have been in a serious auto accident about a

Answered by
Dr. Olsi Taka


Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3633 Questions

Posted on Mon, 31 Dec 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: I have been in a serious auto accident about a year and a half ago. I have diabetes (lost 75 labs)....I have attracted A-fib; glaucoma (stage #3): and, melanoma (Stage #3) recently. What I am concerned about is vertigo that started affecting me right after the accident which totaled my new auto. I was stationary at a 60 MPH freeway entry gate and an in-attentive driver hit me squarely at the back of my care at a high rate of speed. At first I was much more interested in medical attention for my spine and left shoulder. That treatment has been applied for almost two years now. I had frequent bouts of vertigo after the accident. Doctor Billet told me they would go away. I wasn't particularly worried about it. The vertigo appeared when I parked in vertical parking slots about 3 to 4 times a week when a driver to the left or right or moving behind me moved. That calmed down but did not go away. Dr Billet (my Internal Medicine Dr of 30 years) referred me to a Dr who works with mental problems (I can't find the exact name right now). I only saw her once. She prescribed a book for me and exercises. What I learned from her was that when I experienced vertigo not to react to it emotionally. Be in control and stop your auto until the movement is gone. I thought this was going to be easy. I didn't go back to the Dr. But things changed. I started experiencing more elaborate episodes: A. During daytime I got trapped in an amazing rain storm I couldn't imagine where the autos around me were, so I gradually moved over to the curb in the nghbrhood and stopped until I was in control of things again; B. A few days later I was at a stop light on a four XXXXXXX residential street. An elongated bus to my right started to move before I did. I was trying to read my clock at the moment. When the bus moved I had no idea what was happening. It was rush hour I didn't get hold of my emotions immediately. Cars were everywhere. I just thought of the equipment on my car making sure I did not hit the gas.I gently applied the brake. The auto I was driving was a stick shift. It was over in a few seconds. No other drivers seemed to notice what was going on in my car; C. The next episode occurred one night about 3 AM as I was sleeping. I woke up thinking that I was experiencing a stroke. The room was spinning. (I am a-fib but I have never experienced a stroke.) I went to the neighborhood ER and Dr. XXXXXXX after doing tests, said no stroke. He thought it was the inner ear. He referred me to a 30 year ear specialist. The ear specialist said that my ear canal was clean and with no growths which would cause vertigo; D. The next vertigo experience was pretty exciting and embarrassing. I reached down to pick-up a newspaper and found myself bent over and skipping to the right..Starbucks was suddenly jaw dropping quiet while I laughed. The last experiences have been frightening. Over the last 6 weeks I have lost all balance from overbearing vertigo. All of a sudden I cannot walk up, or down stairs without assistance, I feel like falling is going to overtake me. I almost feel like crawling to keep from falling down the stairs. I Feel like my body has overnight lost the ability to use the bottom half of my back at the tail bone and thighs. Both of my upper thighs require much more strength to raise my body than just a few weeks ago. What is happening to me?

Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
A fib needs anticoagulation. Neuro exam and possibly brain imaging needed.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

First I would like to comment on something perhaps not related to this vertigo. You say to have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF or Afib). Is one of the main causes of stroke, in order to lower the risk for stroke anticoagulant medication is necessary. Looking at your list of medications you mention Aspirin which is a blood thinner but not an anticoagulant, it is not enough to prevent stroke. So unless there is some absolute contraindication to all anticoagulants you should discuss with your doctor (whether primary physician or cardiologist) the possibility of starting it as soon as possible, someone your age with your conditions is at a high risk for stroke when with AF.

As for the vertigo or dizziness you describe....most common causes for vertigo are inner ear related conditions or brain lesions. Since you have already been to an ENT specialist who has ruled out ear related causes I would say a neurological consult and possibly brain imaging with MRI to rule out brain lesions (such as stroke, tumor etc) is necessary. If appointments take too long I would head again to the ER. In the meantime medication like dimenhydrinate or meclizine may help to alleviate symptoms.

There is also another possibility, that of anxiety playing a role. After auto accidents such as the one you describe there may be some balance issues due to whiplash injury. What happens in many patients is that psychological factors contribute to perpetuate the symptoms. That in turn increases anxiety further aggravating the situation. So that is a possibility as well. However after one year and a half it is uncommon, given also your risk factors it can't be attributed to anxiety before excluding other causes through neurological visit and imaging.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on