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What causes balance loss problem when suffering from vertigo?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2579 Questions
I somehow have a balance problem since my vertigo episode from November 3! I had hearing tests, mri of brain which came back unremarkable and mri of cervical spine which came back with a disc herniation at c5-c6 and bulging at c6-c7… can that be causing my off balance??? dr said its not my inner ear causing the off balance because i passed the caloric test and the vestibular therapist said it did not XXXXXXX like it came from my inner either. Now my doctor ordered an MRA of head and neck with and without contrast… but i am scared to do the contrast!?? I am so nerves.. could i have had a stroke? . violent spinning was 1x when i woke up up one morning, did an epley and spinning went away… but my off balance stayed.. i feel swaying in my head.. and i am unsteady when standing still … should i be worried there might be something wrong… would the mri have picked up a stroke or anything bad?? if not inner ear, what else can it be…
Posted Sun, 9 Feb 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Prasad 12 hours later
Brief Answer: Not stroke... Detailed Answer: Hi, I understand your concern. And let me first tell that your symptoms are not from a stroke. Stroke features are easily picked up on MRI scan. I wasn't able to see the MRI brain report (you have uploaded both MRI cervical spine reports by mistake). But since you reported MRI brain was unremarkable, the chance of stroke is less likely. I would say it is close to NOT possible, if the scan was performed more than few days after the first appearance of symptoms. I am also glad that your doctors are fairly confident, that your ears are unaffected. That leaves us behind with the next possibility - cervical spondylosis. Your doctors are testing for impaired blood circulation to the brain which is a good move as rarely blood vessel occlusion is seen in these arteries with normal MRI brain report. If MRA also come up normal, discuss about cervical spondylosis with your treating doctor. I hope this information is useful to you. Let me know if you need clarifications. Regards
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Follow-up: What causes balance loss problem when suffering from vertigo? 5 minutes later
Can I do it without contrast? I am so nervous I get a rocking sensation when I am still or sitting.. Pretty scary. It's 2 months
Answered by Dr. Prasad 45 minutes later
Brief Answer: It is best to perform with a contrast... Detailed Answer: Hi, Contrast used with MR angiogram is very safe. It is easily excreted out of the body without harm in few hours to a day if your kidney and liver are functioning well. So you need not be scarred. If you are still nervous, you can discuss about: 1. Not using contrast - I would not opt for this option, since contrast enhanced images are much more clear and defined than non contrast MR angiogram 2. Use mild sedation during the procedure to calm your nerves. The rocking sensation that you feel is related to the unsteadiness. Gradually your doctor should be able to get to the cause and treat it. Keep the hopes high and co-operate with your doctors. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications. Regards
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