vertigo or anxiety

I have a nasty sinus infection, which has been playing havoc with my asthma. After steroids and so forth my breathing is much better, but my ear keeps popping. I feel like I’m constantly falling. I realistically know its biological, but I also lost my grandmother last weekend (and my dad 7 months ago) I can’t focus at all today. I keep wondering if my disorientation is somewhat psychogenic (oh, did I mention I’m bipolar?) what


I’ve been having ear problems, and had a severe episode in January. Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, etc. But what worried me was I had a severe panic attack at the same time. Plus I’d get feelings of derealization when it would start (everything would seem fake and a million miles away like I was high on drugs).

Turns out that for some reason (no idea why) anxiety and inner ear issues go together.

This exactly like my psych meds too strong (Been there!), or being interfered with or something. I thought that was just in my head (well technically, I suppose it is, but you know what I mean)

Your ears control your balance, if they are popping, it’s most likely a physical symptom. But your anxiety about it, is probably making it worse.

I don’t want to alarm you buttt…

If you have an infection it could be doing things to your inner ear. That may be temporary or the damage could be permanent.

Think about it a minute. Significant and permanent damage to your innner ear could seriously impact your life. You might not be able to ever drive again. You might not be able to walk right or at all. You might be “motion sick” all the time. And probably some other bad things.

I’ve had severe vertigo twice, a reaction to pain meds both times. Unless you’ve had it, I don’t think you can imagine how bad it really is. If I had a condition like that but it was permanent, suicide might well be a consideration.

IMO you need to see a doctor, or at least get one on the phone one way or another and get some real medical advice.

My ear problem is mostly better. But for a while I would spend a good deal of the day with feelings of derealization. At first they were terrifying, then I figured I might as well enjoy them and explore them (like a traveler visiting a new place).

They are pretty much gone now. But I had constant feelings of derealization and a massive panic attack when my inner ear issues were at their worst.

Today I went back to the clinic that where I was previously seen for the sinus infection/asthma and saw a different doc. She gave me a prescription of Clonepan and told me that if it doesn’t help “I won’t care.” Has anyone ever had a medical professional tell them something like this? Especially someone who is taking a load of medications already? I did get a referral to an ENT doctor, and made an appointment for Monday. If I am still this bad by Monday, I’m not sure what I will do. (well, obviously, I will get someone to drive me to the ENT, but you know what I mean)

I have Meniere’s Disease and I got it very young. I woke up one day at 15 and was all off balnce. It took me years to figure out what was going on, even then the doctor wouldn’t admit I had Meniere’s Disease, but he gave me Valium which is used to correct it. In 10 minutes I was balanced.

Even after having two ENGs which showed my ears were 'causing me problems, no doctor would do much. They were like “So what”

It was a $400 neurologist (back in 1984 yet) that gave me the Valium after I went to him with the symptoms of Meniere’s Disease I found in a book. He said, “You might have it but you’re way too young. You should be in your mid 30s to have it.” He looked at my ENG results which showed I was off balance and said, “OK let’s assume you do have it, I’ll give you some Valium and if it gets better I guess that is it.”

You said the doctor gave you Clonepan is that correct? Do you mean Clonazepam? That is sort of a strong Valium type drug.

Sorry, I spelled it from memory… it is for klonopin, another name for Clonazepam. Crap. I’ve taken Clonazepam for other reasons before and even a tiny dose makes me useless. In combination with the Seroquel, Lamicatal, Tegretol and other drugs I take it would probably make put me in a virtual coma.
Damn it… having psych meds that make me sane is great until I have any other problems.

Thanks for the info, though. I really almost had the impression she gave me the RX because she didn’t have anything that could help me. (and she did say that if it didn’t work there wasn’t anything else she could do.)

Perhaps valium would work, if that’s what your doctor is getting at.

To be sure you have inner ear issues, you have to have an ENG, which is an easy test, but boy does it make you dizzy. The first time I had it with water, the second time they used air.

Basically they hook your head up with wires to measure brain waves, then they blow air (or water) into your ears and then flash dots around and measure your response to it.

My mum was a nurse and when I first got very dizzy I was scared, I kept falling over and feeling like I was going to pass out. I said, “Mum I keep falling down,” she said, “Well then pick yourself up.”

I found vertigo and dizziness and such aren’t really conserns for most medical people, as long as you know what’s causing it, in my case it definately was the inner ears.

I have had occasional bouts of vertigo and I sympathize with you it can be pretty debilitating especially the first time it happens.

When I get vertigo my doctor prescribes a drug who’s name escapes me at the moment but is something like Circ, it is not a benzo and has no side effects for me except it is pretty hard on my stomach so I always take it with food. This drug is a histamine, the warnings are pretty funny ‘do not take with an anti-histamine the effects have not been tested’ I always picture someone taking an anti-histamine after taking this drug and then their body exploding.

My doctor doesn’t think there is anything to take which will cure it, but recommends anything which will mitigate the symptoms of travel sickness such as Gravol, I find that it helps for the 5 minutes I can stay awake after taking it. Maybe it won’t have such a strong effect on you though.

I was a pilot for a long time and very susceptible to vertigo. Anytime I went into instrument conditions, I would get it.

Now most pilots have to practice and practice what to do when they get vertigo because most do not get it all that often.

I got it every time and have learned how to function under it’s influence. I do not fear getting it because I always do and have a solution. Not fun for hours on end while hand flying ( no auto pilot ) but other than holding my head tilted, & sweating, there is not much outward sign. It is work for the first little while but than I am in the grove and do fine. It feels good when I break out of the clouds and the world straightens up.

I am old & retired now and sometimes get ear trouble or blood pressure trouble and have short bouts of vertigo. As long as I can hold still, I can get into my anti-vertigo stance and wait until it passes. If I’m going up or down steps, I’m in a world of hurt.

I hope I never have to learn what days on end of vertigo would be like.

Current policy is to put threads about medical conditions and people’s anecdotes about similar experiences in IMHO, so I’ll move this thither.

twickster, MPSIMS moderator