Over the years I have communicated
with hundreds of other people with Meniere's and balance problems, all with different stories. Yet
people with vestibular problems constantly seemed to complain about other
symptoms many of which are known to be typical of inner ear problems. Over and over again they
would say the same things, it was a relief to me to know that there seems to be some connection. This is why I have compiled this list and the
positive feedback to this has been stronger than for any other part of
my web site, I think this is because people are relieved that they are not hypochondriacs!
That said, the symptoms listed here have not been proven to be Meniere's
caused or related (at the time of writing) though my Doctors and further research has suggested
that some are indeed common complaints of people with
vestibular problems/inner ear disease. I have listed everything
I have heard of, including those which I have never had.
||Not the kind of dizziness most people mean when they say dizzy. When you are dizzy because of inner ear problems (as opposed to blood pressure dizziness/neurological reasons) you may feel as though you are moving even when you are perfectly still. You may feel whirly, spinny, or spirally but without the visual vertigo. You maintain your balance as your other senses are being heard over the faulty signals, but never the less you still feel the imbalance. You may see the ground "breathing", your surrounds slightly moving all the time. You may feel as though you are being rocked from side to side, particularly noticed when you are standing up without support.
|Headaches and migraine
by a large number of sufferers, (if not all of us!) suggested to be as a
result of your brain having to work extra hard interpreting conflicting balance messages **
fatigue & Exhaustion
||are very common for the same reason above **
"cotton wool head"
|you cannot concentrate,
you have trouble with your memory - this is quite hard to describe but is
commonly referred to as brain fog. Imagine your brain is constantly working overtime to deal with conflicting balance messages, it's prioritising keeping you upright as opposed to taking in new information etc **
problems with visual stimuli
problems using computer screens
lights, daylight, brightness, fluorescent lights especially in places like supermarkets, large DIY stores. Walking past fences or stripes or anything with a pattern exacerbate dizziness, worsened when the sunlight flickers through them. This is felt because the eyes have become the body's preferred balance receptor, preferring it to faulty inner ear. **
if you have trouble using computer screens click here for some advise of reducing monitor flickering and improving your ability to use a monitor / VDU
|Visual stimuli in overdrive.
When your eyes are compensating for loss of balance in the ear, it has a habit of overcompensating resulting in you feeling the sense of movement because of what your eyes tells the brain, for example when you are watching a film or tv, you actually feel what you see. **
About to go dizzy or about to spin
you aren't quite spinning,
but this sensation tells you that you are about to be spinning but it doesn't quite happen but you feel on alert for it; or it happens like a brief shock! **
|Depression & Anxiety
||well I think we've enough to
be miserable about! Daily problems as suggested on this page, coupled with the classic symptoms will get to the most optimistic of us.
|Hyperarousal / hypersensitivity
||being startled easily eg if someone touches you when you aren't expecting it you "jump out of your skin"
||an ache or sensation of pain often occurring with severe ear fullness
|Facial pain and TMJ
||is quite common and unexplained-
especially on the forehead and temples. Some people say it feels a tight band around the head. Perhaps this is referred pain. Often people are told the have TMJ **
or a jerking or flickering of
the eyes is a pretty normal occurrence with vestibular illness. Nystagmus Org **
||where eyes are painful , above
behind and around them! **
||like daylight, artificial lights
(e.g. supermarkets) cause discomfort. Wearing sunglasses can help **
|Neck pain / stiffness
Meniere's really is " a
pain in the neck" for some. Often the neck is considered to be a cause of dizziness. cervical vertigo or that because moving your head causes dizziness people stop moving naturally for fear of setting it off ending up causing future problems **
|Sinus type pain
||(with/without Sinusitis!)-pain behind the eyes, across the bridge of the nose **
||Am I about to faint? **
Walking on clouds
walking on a rocking boat
floor is not level, you put your foot down and the ground is not where you
expect it **
|Sensitivity to smells
||some report smells make
them ill only since having Meniere's . Especially smells of cigarette smoke or strong perfumes.
|Bumps , bruises, generally clumsy
||some go through periods of falling or tripping over, bumping into things, dropping things in a more frequent way than a normal person. Often considered to be clumsiness yet you can't control it.
|See moving objects
||but the objects are actually
|Vision problems & Glasses
||Blurred or Double Vision.
Wearing spectacles intensifies your dizziness especially those with bifocals. Seeing "floaters" more than normal . I've read articles explaining this so more accepted these days. **
||Traveling in a car or moving vehicle is problematic........ (and
Meniere's people can be bad car passengers!) ; for others its the complete opposite, you feel much better in a moving vehicle, perhaps because you expect to be moving and your balance is telling you that you should be moving so bingo, matching signals. Until the car stops and you still feel like you are moving!
|Feel you are in a virtual reality
of being in a room, when you are not in a room- you feel very removed from situations, to the extent where you feel you are almost looking in on yourself and the room, you are more of an observer than participant **
||being forgetful, unable to think,
saying and doing stupid things, commons with vestibular illness **
|Falling, falling, falling
||the feeling of falling
- some healthy people can easily identify with this.....when you are nodding off to sleep, suddenly
you jerk up thinking you are falling. For some with Meniere's you can be sat at your desk and suddenly feel like you are falling**
||for lack of a better word.
The effect is this: "while in a Meniere's episode, when turning your
head, although you know that you turned your head, the actual feeling of
it moving is delayed. Kind of like the "Cursors" or mouse pointer
on your computer. You move it, but there is a trail that follows it
lack of orientation - getting
a general feel of where you are e.g. a new environment seems to be harder for
some of us while friends seem to be able to remember "oh it was left
by that building". My partner recently moved all the furniture around in 2 rooms at home without my knowledge. It feels like it is taking me longer to adjust to this and you feel really frustrated when something isn't where you expect it to be.
||yawn yawn yawn yawn. Yawn!
||as a result of fear of attacks occurring in public
|Need the loo / bathroom / diarrhoea
||some people become incontinent during an attack, someone has advised me they always need to go to the loo two or three times at the onset of an attack
|Runny Nose / Need to blow nose
||you feel gravity is puly you down to the ground
||one person with good night vision reports that it dissipates during attacks
People don't tell their Doctors some of these for fear of being considered
to be mad! For me I totally understand "being in virtual reality, being
in a room when you are not in a room" but its the kind of thing you cannot
describe to someone who has never had the sensation. I for one never disclosed to my doctor half of
the above that I suffer from . If you have anything you can add
to this list please email me or complete
my online form.
If you are hitting your head against a brick wall trying to find "cures" for
the various problems go to my Self Help page where you may find some useful
herbal treatments or ideas! Or if you still haven't received a diagnosis and want to know what tests to expect.
This web site has been written and developed by Alex Tye - "MrLexy" on the internet!
http://www.mrlexy.co.uk. Please feel free to contact me with my feedback form.