New ear problem for the past month; Menieres or something else?
I'm hoping that someone may have some insight into a problem I've been having for the past month.
It started for me when I was prescribed Prednisone (25mg) to take to help me with a problem I have when I fly. My right ear blocks up and doesn't unblock for hours after the flight is over. An ENT gave me the Prednisone as well as a nasal spray. In preparation for a flight, I took one single Prednisone pill and started the nasal spray.
I had a bad reaction to the Prednisone. I felt a lot of pressure in my head and ears and had a kind of "hyper" feeling, but I didn't know what was wrong because I never took that drug before. By that night, I had a loud "dial tone" sound in my ear, dizziness and nausea. The symptoms subsided and the ENT told me not to take the drug again. I thought it was all over, but what followed has been a month of strange sounds in the right ear and dizzy spells. Interestingly, most of my symptoms happened at night while I was sleeping. I would wake up dizzy every couple of hours and notice a strange sound which always dissapated. I went to multiple ENT's who could find nothing wrong and said my hearing was nearly perfect; a cardiologist who did an Ecodoppler of the carotid artery and said everything was good. I had an MRI of my head which showed nothing that could explain this. Then the symptoms started to subside so I thought it was all over. But three days ago out of nowhere I heard a loud "dial tone" sound in the right ear again. This lasted about 12 hours then disappeared. Yesterday it happened again. This time it lasted even longer and there was dizziness towards the end of it. Every time my blood pressure has been taken they said it is OK and I had my cholesterol checked – also OK (I take Rosuvastatin and admittedly, it's not always under control).
As I type this, I'm basically OK. I feel a bit unsteady, but I had a crazy night with this. I have no idea what's happening. The ENT ordered more vestibular testing (an impedance analysis as well as a vestibular function test (not sure the name, we're in Italy so I know what it's called in Italian). Also I need to visit a neurologist as well as my endocrinologist (I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis). I also need to be tested for sleep apnea, as it is a concern.
Any ideas at all? I'm terrified of another attack.
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Is this tinnitus? With vertigo?
In the US I have had success with a physical therapist who has expertise and equipment for testing for different kinds of vertigo/dizziness.
An audiologist with expertise in tinnitus is good for that, if that is what you have. There is an excellent tinnitus forum online and others have dizziness, ear pain/fullness and other symptoms.
I have no idea what it is, and although testing is continuing, there are no answers.
The tinnitus comes on as discrete attacks and disappears after some hours.
Basically all I'm doing is following up on appointments and proactively following a Menieres-type diet to try to avoid future attacks.
Have you tried a physical therapist who is expert on vertigo and balance?
Has Tinnitus been mentioned to you? It can come out of nowhere and hit hard with ringing in the ears or other sounds. I also have hashimotos and have had tinnitus for about 6 years. 1 ear sounds like Morse code clicking sound sometimes and the other ear has a high pitched ringing sound. My brain has adjusted to it and I don't pay it much mind anymore, EXCEPT, when it ramps up. Caffeine & too much sodium tend to make it worse. It's aggravating I know. It appears Hashimotos & ear issues go hand in hand. God Bless You and I hope you find answers to help.
Thank you for this connection between Hashimoto's and ear problems. Maybe I should go back to the endocrinologist and see what can be done.
@windyshores Did your physical therapist use Vestibular Rehabilitation Training (VBT)? I am scheduled for testing with a pt who specializes in VBT and am concerned about the possibility of an increase in symptoms due to the testing methods. Did you have an increase in symptoms after the testing process? If so, how long until the symptoms subsided?
I have Meniere's and am currently in a period of relative stability, so the thought of having an
increase in symptoms is concerning.
If you have Meniere's, are they also ruling out BPPV? I have had both BPPV and other kinds of vertigo. The PT can test you for BPPV easily (crystals in ear dislodged, and they have a computer screen that shows your eye movements from special goggles).
My mother and I have also done vestibular exercises, which are different from those for BPPV. My daughter did both kinds after a brain injury.
All these exercises can work- but not sure if they work with Meniere's. The PT will know. The BPPV exercises work quickly and you can do them at home anytime the problem pops up, once you are trained.
Yes you get dizzy afterward but in our experience that is part of healing and passes quickly. Again, I don't know about the effects with Meniere's.
I have not had any of that done. My problem is still pretty new. The most concerning symptom is not really vertigo, and I'm not sure even sure I'm having vertigo. I saw a new ENT yesterday, who asked me very pointed questions about whether what I was experiencing was vertigo or dizziness. I concluded that probably it was dizziness, as I felt that I was unsteady but not that the room was moving. But I'm really not sure. Regardless, my dizzy spells are infrequent and short, and in fact, almost always happen when I'm sleeping, which is why I am going to be evaluated for sleep apnea.
My main complaint is this loud strange sound that comes into my ear and lasts for sometimes hours. I can usually tie those events to some kind of trigger, like alcohol or caffeine. I'm very worried about this, but no one is really yet calling it Menieres.
Is anyone saying you have tinnitus? Is your hearing okay?
Thank you @windyshores. I have the testing done next week. The PT called me yesterday afternoon and said in her experience, the dizziness is minimal, does not last long ,and does not trigger a Meniere's flare. I am currently experiencing BPPV in addition to the Meniere's. In terms of the Meniere's the only things that have helped me control it so far are decreasing caffeine and salt consumption, and taking a diuretic prescribed by my ENT. I do not drink alcohol which the ENT exacerbates symptoms for some people. I hope the vestibular exercises are helpful once we get to them. The BPPV exercises will be first after the testing. Thank you again. Communicating with others is helpful!