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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What can cause chronic dizziness despite a normal caloric test?

Answered by
Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3491 Questions

Posted on Fri, 18 Jan 2019 in Brain and Spine
Question: I have had problems with dizziness most of my adult life but it was always related to my sinuses and allergies especially when I lived in MI. Since living in NM I haven't had the problem so much. I had two episode of blood in my eye, bad h/a, and ^BP. Had a blockage in one of my arteries so had a CABBAGE July 2017. After the surgery, I had night episodes of ^BP, h/a, face swelling on the left side. It past but the dizziness came back and has continued to get worst. My sinuses and ears are free of infection but the problem continues. I feel disorientated, weak, and sometimes confused Especially if to much is going on. I sleep way too much. Because of all this, they did a Caloric test on my ears. My right ear made me very dizzy. Moreso then I ever been. The right ear my vision became blurred. Is this normal? What could be wrong? It seems that my trouble remains on my left side. I had an MRI last fall it was OK.
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Other tests are necessary for a correct diagnosis.

Detailed Answer:


I have read your question and understand your concerns.

Since you had an MRI of the brain and there were no lesions such stroke, cerebellopontine angle tumors that may cause sometimes dizziness, you should not worry about anything serious.

Caloric test is a good test to assess unilateral vestibular deficit but is not sufficient to evaluate the entire vestibular system.

In my opinion, in order to understand correctly your condition, other neuro-otologic tests should be performed.

These tests include electro/videonystagmography (ENG), the rotating-chair test, computerized dynamic posturography, vestibular evoked potentials.

Conditions that may be considered include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Meniere's disease, vestibular neuronitis, migraines.

Discuss with your ENT Doctor about these issues.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho 2 days later
What about MS? I am not being a Hypercondriac I just taken care of to many MS pts. (I am a retired LPN) Out of curiosity, I read the symptoms and I fit them all. How does one test for MS? To see a Neurologist I have to go 200 miles from here. I don't relish the thought of having such a thing or driving so far. If I did have it I would only be glad that I am 72. I have seen a 20-year-old die from it. She had a child, despite Dr. warning and her MS advanced quickly.
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
In my opinion MS unlikely.

Detailed Answer:

Hello again,

The first step in evaluating MS as a possibility is a thorough neurological examination.

One of the examinations about MS is brain and spinal cord MRI.

Since the brain MRI was okay, this is a strong factor against MS as a possible diagnosis.

Despite your opinion, I don't think your symptoms are typical for MS besides dizziness that may be connected with myriad conditions.

Other tests to evaluate MS include spinal tap and evaluation of the antibodies related to MS, evoked potentials, cervical spine MRI.

Discuss with your Neurologist about these issues.

In good health.

Dr. Erion Spaho, Neurologist, Surgical

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

The User accepted the expert's answer

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