My name is Sadie. I am a 49 year old female. Last Wednesday I was sitting at the kitchen peninsula typing when all of a sudden I thought the world was ending. I was thrown from my stool, everything was moving and I couldn't figure out what way was up. It didn't last long and I got my bearings but was nauseous and shaken up. My husband took me to the emergency room and they told me I had BPPV. They weren't super-helpful, so I had a video appointment with my family doctor today and she wasn't much help either.
I would fine with the diagnosis but from everything I read, I haven't come across anyone that says it can be violent like mine. I didn't turn my head or make any movement that would case this to happen. It was absolutely terrifying. I really did think the world was ending. I can't imagine what would have happened had I been driving.
Someone please tell me whether or not this was normal for BPPV, and if not, what should I do next.
I appreciate any help, advice, or support.
Thank you! <3
I'm sure that was terrifying. BPPV can come on suddenly without any obvious trigger. Have you had a cold or sinus infection? Sometimes a virus will trigger the event. The incident may just be a one time thing, or may recur at a later time. At this point a consultation with an Ear Nose Throat doctor who works with balance disorders may be helpful.
If it happens again, try to stay calm, stay seated or propped up reclining, and breathe slowly to control anxiety.
If the ED team and your PCP suggested it may be BPPV, it's safe to try vestibular rehab. Once you try some things with the PT, it could shed more light onto the specifics of the causes. He/she can let your Doctors know. It could still help. It's best not to wait to long to start.
Often in the ER they tell you that you have BPPV because that's about all they know about vestibular disorders. They would have to be knowledgeable enough to test you for it and give you that diagnosis. A cold, virus or sinus issue makes sense to me, like Karen was asking you about.
I agree that a visit to an ENT who knows vestibular, or a neuro-otologist, if there is one near you, would be a good thing to do. They could rule some things out and hopefully diagnose what occurred.
I understand how scary an attack like that feels. If it ever happens again, try to stay grounded (feet on the floor, hands on the chair) -- or if you can, stand up, lean against a wall, allowing as much of your back side and your hands to press against the wall. Above all, don't panic, breathe slowly and try to focus on a spot on the wall. Chances are if you do these things the episode will be short lived.
Take care and stay safe.
Goodness, I never got a notice that anyone had replied. Thank you all!
I did have another episode this past Friday. Didn't panic this time. I was riding in the car with my husband. I had him drive to the destination. Then I was nauseous for the next hour or two.
I have an appointment with my GP this Thursday. No one has even looked in my ears at this point. My ears have been bothering me a little bit and I've had swollen glands on and off. I hope it is just a low-grade infection. I would love if any of you could recommend any questions or requests I should make while at my appointment.
Thanks again to all of you. It is so nice to have support.
Ask your doctor about referring you to an ENT doctor. That's often where people begin this process. If the problem is inner ear in origin the ENT will be a good resource. But, if it's more a central nervous system disorder, you may get referred eventually to a neurologist. It can be a matter of ruling out other disorders before getting a definite answer. Many people benefit from Vestibular Therapy, which is done by a physical therapist who specializes in these issues. Let us know how the appointment goes.
Thanks! After examining me and determining that I do not have an ear infection, my GP scheduled an MRI (this coming Wednesday) and if that doesn't show anything, I go to the ENT. I am getting more symptoms. I am feeling dizzy/queasy, headaches, flushed face. Still scared.
Start with a vestibular and balance specialist first. It will save you a lot of time, money and aggravation. If you need help finding one in your area, please let me know. I can help you. 🙂
@sandstorm, thanks, Sandra. Unfortunately, I am at the mercy of my doctors and to whom they refer me. The good news is that I have great health insurance and the Minneapolis removed link Paul area has top-notch health care.
My MRI was normal. I see an ENT tomorrow and I suspect the ENT will refer me to a vestibular therapist.
The more research I do, including posts on the Facebook Vestibular Disorders Support Group, the more I think this is related to my perimenopause. I guess we'll see what the professionals have to say.
BTW, this forum does not allow me to respond to PMs. Thank you so much for checking in on me. I'm feeling much less scared. My biggest concern at this point is whether I'll ever be able to drive again.
I am glad you are feeling less scared!
Have you been able to get a vestibular therapy appointment? The physical therapist I saw at the beginning was such a huge support for me. Much more so than the docs. They really seem to understand these disorders and can put together an individualized plan for you.
@krmizrachgmail-com, yes, I saw a vestibular therapist last week. She ran me through a battery of tests including one where I wear goggles and she can see my eye movement. I passed all tests with flying colors and no dizziness. I will be seeing a very well respected neurologist this coming Wednesday.
Sounds good. Keep us posted.
My neurologist has determined that I have the migraine gene and its been triggered by the onset of menopause. Because I have headaches and mild dizziness everyday, and I won't drive to due to my fear of having another major spinning event, he has prescribed Topamax. The Vestibular Facebook group tells horror stories of this drug. It helped some with their headaches, but not their vertigo. Now I'm afraid of side effects and that I'll get worse.
I had no idea how many people suffer horribly with these problems. I do feel fortunate that I can still work and function.
Remember that each person reacts differently to medications and what works for one may not work for others. So, while it's helpful to hear about everyone's experiences, it's also important to work with your doctor or physical therapist on your specific needs. Maybe your doctor would be open to trying another medication or something else you feel more comfortable trying.
It was reassuring to me also to find the groups of people who have similar challenges. Feeling less alone makes a huge difference.