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Suffering from mild to severe nausea, dizziness and inner ear problem. How to get cured?

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Dr. Ram Choudhary

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 2272 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 15 Dec 2012 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: My boyfriend has been suffering from mild to severe nausea which can induce vomiting when he is having a very bad spell which includes sensitivity to light, sound and smell and he has to lie down in a dark room (possible migraines). He is also experiencing light headed feeling or dizziness associated with too much movement of the eyes and head, inner ear problems (possible vestibular migraine also known as vertigo migraine) which includes buzzing in the ears that ranges in intensity, fullness in the ear, muffled hearing, and pain in left ear periodically, blurred vision-that feels hazy or like a veil is over them, also when he moves his eyes to look to the side they get blurred and take a few seconds to adjust and he keeps hearing popping noise-sounds like little bubbles breaking in between the eyes and his head also feels like it is being squeezed in a vice (Tension headaches possibly), he has been suffering from this for the past 4 yrs daily with the occassional break from the symptoms for a few weeks during the summer, winter it is worse. More recently though after an upper respitory infection and a neck manipulation the symptoms got worse. Now, he does have a family history of migraines aswell but has never suffered one before this. The first time some of the symptoms started happening was not long after a flight to Portugal in Feb 2008 and was not feeling well for the whole trip. The Doctor gave him some antibiotics he took one and the symptoms went away, so he stopped them. A month or a few months later he got a slap tear (laberal tear) in his right shoulder, so he went for physio- therapy at which time the physio therapist decided to do a neck manipulation on him, and then a few days later he was not feeling well and experiencing most of these symptoms and could not get out of bed and the symptoms plagued him daily for several years, ranging from mild to severe. He has been able to manage his symptoms for the past two years, by laying down in his vehicle during his lunch break, but when the viral infection hit him this September the symptoms were bothering him just a little more than normal but then after the neck manipulation the symptoms got worse and were not settling and are debilitating him every day to the point that he is contemplating suicide, because he doesn't know what else to do. He's tried Advil and Aleve not helping, he is also taking noratryptaline, for a diagnosis of vertigo migraines 3 years ago but the problem is, he is not getting vertigo symptoms-migraine symptoms yes, lightheadness yes-but not vertigo-but he does find, that if he forgets to take them he starts to get the migraine symptoms with severe sensitivity to light but without the pounding, he also still gets them even when he is taking them too. His GP just recently gave him circ but it doesn't seem to be helping control the nausea, same with over the counter nausea meds with ginger. He has recently tried physiotherapy again- he tried several sessions but he was getting no relief and the symptoms felt worse- now he's trying massage. The only time that he does get some relief is when he lays down and the symptoms tend to ease, but as soon as he gets up his head starts to restrict immediately squeezing and all the symptoms start getting worse.
So far, his diagnosis's have been vertigo migraine- 3yrs ago, since the upper respitory infection-his GP told him he has viral labrynthitis- then he went to a neurologist for other reasons- we have just found out that he has perineural cysts, small ones in C7/T1 level and a larger one on the left side at the T1/T2 level measuring 1.1cm in diameter and a smaller one on the right, there is also a broad based posterior disc osteophyte complex that is slightly more left sided and is effacing the anterior CSF collar and there is a slight narrowing of both exit foremen’s. We also explained to her what he was recently experiencing, that also has been plaguing him for a long time, but recently got worse after an infection and neck manipulation. So she did an EMG and no nerve compression was found, but she said that his right shoulder and neck were really tight and that it is tension headaches and the tightness that is going on his neck and right shoulder from his shoulder injury that is causing what is going on with him right now-but this doesn't explain the ear problems that he is experiencing especially since it is mostly happening to his left ear, not his right and it's not just tinnitus which I know can be associated with pain, there's muffling and fullness too and you'd think the right ear would be affected and not the left also tension headaches don't cause nausea and is not connected to vestibular symptoms either and are usually relieved with Aleve or Advil. He is also taking a prescribed anti-inflammatory which is not helping, and he also tried a nose sprays which are not helping and a netti pot. Now there is a possibility that these are all happening synomoniously at the same time but are completely separate of one another too. I've been doing so much research on this that I just don't know anymore. He is having so many symptoms happening at the same time which are also related to so many other illnesses, which makes it hard to diagnose. He just wants to get back to work. We also live in Ontario Canada, and have lengthy wait times to see some specialists. We are still waiting to see another ENT specialist and another Neurologist. I hope you can help in the mean time but if this involves money, then unfortunately depending on how much, I may not be able to get your help, because I am on a limited disability income.
I also wanted to mention what symptoms are plaguing him the most and preventing him from getting back to work are the severe nausea, light headed feeling, foggy feeling, the head squeezing and the ringing in the ears- if we could get help to take care of these things, he would be able to get back to work!!! I believe what he is suffering from is a vestibular Migraine but the tension headache symptom is making it hard to say and I'm not sure, because the migraine meds are not working completely nor are they giving him any relief of his other symptoms. Now I do know that that migraines affect the sympathetic system which delays emptying of the stomach into the intestine, possible preventing the absorption but when he is not experiencing the migraine symptoms would he still, not be able to absorb the medication? I really just don't know what direction I should go in to get him help, especially since it takes so long to see a specialist! Please Help!!!
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Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 17 hours later
Hi XXXXXXX
welcome to healthcare magic!
Thanks for putting up the problem in that details.
I would like to make some more points clear before coming to conclusions.
Did he have a fever recently or during this period apart from the episode of Upper respiratory tract infection.
How is his sleep. When he goes to sleep and when he awakens. How is his attitude for life and day to day issues?
Does he has hearing impairment.
Have you got any investigations yet, if yes please load the reports.
It is highly advisable that he should undergo A CBC, ESR, RFT, CRP, MRI brain and an Audiometry.
If already done please let me know.
I hope that answers your query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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