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Old 02-03-2014, 02:23 PM   #21
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Thanks,

I've been learning a lot. Many folks are unaware of Visual Vertigo, the DR's. I saw explained not too many years ago they would have referred me out to a shrink, as it was thought this ailment was all in your head(it is). The old treatments were meclizine (OTC) and Valium, both help vertigo symptoms. In the past DR's really thought people with these type issues had panic attacks or other issues.

As it was explained to me, the Vestibular system is responsible for the feeling of balance in the inner ear. There are a couple of organs in there (Otolithic) in my case the tests indicate damage to the lower one in the left ear. The brain also counts on your eyes for input on what is occurring.

When the brain gets mixed signals from the vestibular system it asks the eyes for more input on what is going on. So in "visually stimulated" environments, such as a grocery store or other visually busy places(big box stores, action movies, crowds....) the brain sometimes can't rationalize all the input. Causes confusion, dizzy, nausea and other bizarre feelings (I feel intoxicated, not in a good way when this occurs).

I meet with a PT tomorrow that's trained in balance issues. I'm hopeful that it won't be too bad, but PT has never been easy for me.

Being dizzy really sucks, as mentioned there are many causes. My sister related a story that sounds much like your experience of crawling to the trash can, She was told it was low blood pressure. Eventfully with some meds she's not had symptoms in 30 years. You may want to check out a neurologist or ENT as that seems to be the path into the balance experts.
MRG




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Originally Posted by bubba View Post
Never heard of Visual Vertigo; hope your treatment isn't too strenuous. I'm slightly queasy just reading about this. The only time I've had issue with the strobe-like thing is driving while it's snowing pretty hard. Something about looking into that snow falling at that rate, etc. and I start to get very queasy and my hearing starts to go just as if I'm about to faint. When that happens, I have to look down at the pavement and not out into the distance (hope that makes sense).

A couple of times per year, I have episodes of dizziness so sudden and so severe that should I be away from home, I do not know what I would do. Last time it happened was last April (I think). I felt great, the weather was perfect, and I was busy doing chores. I sat down in a recliner to take a break and when I reclined that chair, the bottom fell out. Home alone and knew I had to make it to the bathroom, I literally crawled to get there. Eventually crawled back to the sofa with a small trash can as my companion. Finally fell asleep and slept for hours. When I woke up, the nausea and dizziness was gone, replaced by intense fatigue. Who knows - maybe it's the migraine vertigo mentioned above, although I don't think I've ever had a migraine headache (my son suffers from them occasionally).

Anyway, I sincerely hope your docs can solve this dilemma. Dizziness is one of the things that scares me to pieces as it is so crippling.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:58 PM   #22
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This has been an interesting thread. For many years I have been sensitive to fluorescent lighting and found it hard to read under that type of lighting. I always tried to have my workstation next to a window and to delamp the overhead fixtures directly above me. It always had to be with the agreement of people near me though as some people really want and need their overhead lighting. I always used an incandescent task light on my desk for reading. The situation improved over time with technology changes from magnetic ballasts to electronic ballasts. I could usually detect the flicker in the older type of fluorescent fixtures. My experience was clearly mild compared to what others have shared in this thread.
The IES has some information in their Lighting Handbook book.
http://www.ies.org/handbook/
I no longer have access to it and it is expensive to buy. One of the local libraries has an older copy so that may be an option for anyone who is interested.

A recent book I read goes into detail of one person's experience with vestibular disorders. She discusses her symptoms, difficulty getting a proper diagnosis, testing she went through, therapy used to treat various disorders, and surgery to correct one of the problems. There is no perfect solution other than learning to live with it and how to minimize symptoms. Finding Balance by Sue Hickey
Finding Balance: Sue Hickey: 9781936303144: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:10 AM   #23
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Our Lions Club helps with a Service Dog facility and we adopted two of the cabins that clients, who have sight disabilities would live in for up to 6 weeks. We needed to remove all flourecsent light fixtures because even those with sight problems have issues with the constant 60 cycle flicker from flourecsent lights. This is an issue not well publicized to the general public. I worked as an Electrical Engineer for a utility company specializing in low cost lighting and did not know this until recently. The flickering lights can cause head aches and dizziness with some people who are legally blind! Interesting!
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:31 AM   #24
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These types of lights don't really bother me. But....I used to play a fair amount of indoor tennis (or even at night under lights) and I had to wear an old pair of prescription glasses. The fluorescent lights would fuzz up the tennis ball so I had trouble getting clear sight of the ball. Same with driving at night and had trouble reading signs.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:31 PM   #25
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Well after a full week of PT, as promised, my dizziness is worse. The DR. that diagnosed me, the audiooligist, and th PT all told me to expect to get worse for the first two weeks.

Last visit with PT he added a couple of new exercises to my routine. Also had me double up on the reps. He suggested using a metronome to help with timing. It does make it easier.

He's now got me standing on 4 folded towels to increase the difficulity of maintaining balance. Hopefully by next week things are a little less dizzy.
Thanks to all here for suggestions.
MRG
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:02 PM   #26
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Week 2 was pure hell. Started being nasaus all day and night. Constant 'basketball head', like something was dribbling with my head.
PT added a balance board, at first just standing there was unbearable. By now I'm a champ on this thing. Only thing that's slightly problematic is the eyes closed routines. At first DW had to spot me, from the front, I'm backed into a corner. Now I'm able to just use the corner.

Nausea slightly better, 'basketball head' only after doing full set of PT.
I was in two grocery stores this week, I have issues if I look at a big space of different items. Anybody ever noticed how many frozen veggies or different types of canned tomatoes there are?

I'm trying not to focus on how many, just grab and go. Hate to be too optimistic, but I think I'm getting better. Know there might be more setbacks, but the only way to get back to normal is by fighting through them.
MRG
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:07 AM   #27
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Interesting. I have dizziness from fluorescent lights and have to be in an office with lots of windows and natural light at work to avoid symptoms. If I'm in a room with no daylight, that's a big problem. The old style monitors for computers used to drive me crazy, too. I'm thinking of the really old ones with green writing and a slow refresh rate, where the writing looked liked it was shivering. Strobe lights also drive me nuts. I have meniere's. I never thought about them all being possibly interrelated.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:32 PM   #28
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Had my 4 week reevaluation. I guess the insurance required it. Subjective testing, walking a line, walk and turn on command I'm getting better. The objective measurements, standing on a device that measures center of gravity and deviation those improved as well. The greatest improvement was standing on foam, with eyes closed. I had major problems with that 4 weeks ago(computer said I fell), now I'm close to normal.

Only problem is I feel like crap. More nausea, concentration gone. Concerns about driving. The PT says keep pushing, issues like this cause folks to become housebound. That cannot happen.
MRG
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Old 03-06-2014, 05:47 PM   #29
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I am glad to hear you are making some progress. It sounds like you are working hard in your PT. I hope you have complete success. Vestibular disorders are horrible.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:03 PM   #30
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I am glad to hear you are making some progress. It sounds like you are working hard in your PT. I hope you have complete success. Vestibular disorders are horrible.
Helen, Thank you very much. I read your post on Meiners, nothing I want.

Few months ago I didn't know what a Vestibular disorder was. You are correct they are horrible.
Thanks so much for your thoughts,
MRG
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:56 AM   #31
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An aside for a discussion on dizziness...

My mom had some dizziness or vertigo some years ago - bad enough to go to the doctor.

I'm guessing from her description it was BPPV as opposed to visual vertigo. Treated in the office and she was fine.

Interesting stuff if you go to youtube and search for Epley and Semont Maneuvers for BPPV.

Hope you are better pronto, MRG.

Kindest regards.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:02 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by spncity View Post
An aside for a discussion on dizziness...

My mom had some dizziness or vertigo some years ago - bad enough to go to the doctor.

I'm guessing from her description it was BPPV as opposed to visual vertigo. Treated in the office and she was fine.

Interesting stuff if you go to youtube and search for Epley and Semont Maneuvers for BPPV.

Hope you are better pronto, MRG.

Kindest regards.
My first specialist for vestibular disorders was Dr. Epley here in Portland. He was a true hero. He was almost disbarred for his work on BPPV and what ultimately became known as the Epley maneuver. The other doctors thought his ideas were bunk and started the paperwork to have him disbarred. He plodded along and gave many, many people their lives back.

Here is an article about him:

Cursing the Cure: Doctor and Invention Outlast Jeers and Threats
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:01 PM   #33
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Spncity and Helen, thank you both for your kind thoughts.

Dr. Epley, I'd never read his story, what a courageous man. He's helped millions, many that were told they had no hope.

FYI, your information on Epley lead me to a great resource. I've signed up there. As a result I'm going to step up on the visual rehabilitation therapy(VRT), maybe a little less on balance.

Best wishes,
MRG
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:11 PM   #34
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Spncity and Helen, thank you both for your kind thoughts.

Dr. Epley, I'd never read his story, what a courageous man. He's helped millions, many that were told they had no hope.

FYI, your information on Epley lead me to a great resource. I've signed up there. As a result I'm going to step up on the visual rehabilitation therapy(VRT), maybe a little less on balance.

Best wishes,
MRG
Gotta love the synergy of these ER forums...

Kindest regards.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:03 PM   #35
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Gotta love the synergy of these ER forums...

Kindest regards.
+1

MRG, I hope that approach speeds up the progress. Please keep us posted.
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Old 03-28-2014, 01:51 PM   #36
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So three weeks later. PT was only too thrilled to add more VRT to my routine(they love adding). So now I'm the proud owner of a disco ball, guess there called party balls now. Go in a dark room following one light across the room, pick up another. Do it till you're ready to fall, rest, go do it again. It's helping I can tolerate it for 5 minutes and still be able stand up.

He also suggested going to the mall, or other busy stores I normally am not in and see how I do. So I'm in Wal-Mart, I stay out of the grocery stuff as I'm used to it.

Walking around, TVs, phones etc. no problem. Off in the distance, I see bright colors yellows, florescent greens, oranges, animal prints. I'm transfixed, walking towards the area, trying to decipher what is this stuff? Trying to break down the puzzle and identify what each individual piece is. After a couple of minutes, yep I'm standing there staring at the new shipment of very young girls clothes. Decide that's not the place for a 57 y.o. guy to hang out while on cameras.

Therapist retested my balance today, my walking is almost normal. Biggest area I need to work on is balance with eyes closed. But there is a huge improvement from where I started at.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:31 PM   #37
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Glad to hear things are getting better for you. All that work is paying off.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:52 PM   #38
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Your hard work is being rewarded. Hope you continue to improve.
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:06 PM   #39
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That's great news, MRG!!! It's weird, but you popped into my mind earlier today and I wondered how you were doing. I am really happy to hear of your good progress.
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Old 04-22-2014, 04:37 PM   #40
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Just ran across this article in teh Washington Post aobut a man who had a terrible case of vertigo for 138 days. (btw, the article references the Epley procedure as one of the many things he tried.)

Vertigo: A common problem that left one man teetering for months and months - The Washington Post

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