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What causes hyperacusis and dizziness while bending the neck?

Answered by
Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 1392 Questions

Posted on Fri, 11 May 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I am hoping someone can help me and shed some light on something that has been going on for me. I feel lost and scared.

About 9 months ago, I started getting this dizzy sensation when tilting my head to the right but only sometimes. And sometimes, it would happen if I was in the same position for too long. It would happen when I was using my cellphone or holding up with my shoulder, neck bent. It would happen sometimes leaning over to get my wallet in my purse on the passenger seat. It would feel like a rush of adrenaline and it would freak me out. As soon as I put my head straight the feeling would pass. In between, I had a constant sense of anxiety and imbalance. I also felt "off" and in a fog.

The sensations got closer together so I visited the ER and they said it was BPPV or positional vertigo due to loose calcium crystals in the ear. They never actually tested, they just diagnosed me based on symptoms. So, I went home and tried the Epley and I did have a spinning sensation on my right side so I knew this is what I had. But, I think it's important to say that before this happened, however, I was postpartum and experiencing daily headaches and migraines. The migraines and pulsing sensation would feel as though they were deep in my left ear. I knew this was weird for me because although I used to get an occasional headache, it would never always stay in the same place like this.

During this time also, I spent about 8-10 hours a day looking down on my laptop and cell phone. Sometimes, when I would look up from being on my laptop too long I would feel really dizzy and disoriented. Same thing when I kept my head to the right too long staring at the desktop monitor. A weird, dizzy sensation would come over me.

So when I got the diagnoses, I figured all the symptoms I experienced were all attributed to BPPV and I so I performed the Epley for 3 days and the spinning eventually went away. The positional episodes did not, which makes me think the BPPV finding was just incidental to what is going on. On most days, I cannot move my head around too much because I feel a weird dropping, sinking dizzy feeling. If I move too fast the feeling could be sudden and it will cause a fair amount of panic to surge through my blood. 2 months ago I started developing tinnitus. My left ear constantly feels full and it will randomly pop, click, equalize with ringing fading out tinnitus. I developed a second kind of tinnitus which never went away after I returned from a flight 3 weeks ago. It feels like I am in a plane's cabin and it vibrates my head.

The positional dizziness that I experience will happen if I am just staring at someone and just move my head slightly. When I do exercises like typing on a keyboard I get dizzy jolts which feel like zaps of electricity running up the back of my head. I get dizzy rushes talking.

I have had a full workup including MRI of the head, CT Scan of the head, Blood work including thyroid, B12 Levels, Vitamin D levels, Iron, all normal. I've had full balance testing which is all normal. There is nothing wrong with my ears to the eye or based on the testing.

I just don't know anymore. This all started one night where I abruptly turned my head to the left and got out of bed only to feel like I had a stroke. I couldn't even read the Advil bottle and was severely disoriented. After that, I could not move my head around too much and it kicked off what I have been going through for so long, approx. 7 months.

Today, something aggravated it. I was in the bathroom looking at my hair and I was straining my neck because I was looking up close to the mirror for too long. Now, whenever I move the dizziness is worse.

I have never received an MRI of my neck. I did an X-ray of my neck and it was normal. I am wondering since they can't find anything in the ears or my brain, if this is something coming from my neck? I just feel like I will have a stroke at any moment or something sinister.

Does anyone know if our necks can cause hyperacusis, clicking, popping, pulsating, dizziness, etc?
Answered by Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal 3 hours later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Welcome to HealthcareMagic and thanks for putting up the query
I have read the whole history. As the symptoms appear only on change in position of the head, it is bppv. Usually in bppv , all investigations are normal. It is diagnosed only on the basis of history from the patient and examination.
The feeling of fullness in the ears can be due to some eustachian tube blockage caused by either nasal or throat infection. please let me know if you have any such complaints.
As there is a history of abrupt jerk to neck, you should get a MRI cervical spine done.
For vertigo, take tablet betahistine 16 mg twice daily for a week and do epleys manoeuvre.
Any further questions are always welcome.
Take care
Wishing you a speedy recovery
Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D

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