Time to figure this out
Hi all! I’m 46 and have dealt with what I presume to be vestibular issues my whole life. In third grade I was dizzy and nauseous a lot and I remember feeling like the room always tilted to the left in fourth grade. In junior high I began having panic attacks in vehicles and became agoraphobic. I didn’t leave the house for a couple of years and was home schooled. I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder at that time but now that I’m older and can verbalize a little better I think the “it’s all in your head” I kept being told literally was “ all in my head” because of my ears. I remember seeing an old timey eye ear nose and throat specialist around that third grade time frame and think he said I have narrow Eustachian tubes but large tonsils which puts extra pressure on them.
That all being said, I’ve lived a pretty normal life all things considered. There are some situations I don’t like so I avoid them. In fact, I don’t like situations I can’t get out of so I tend to avoid things like flying or carnival rides or riding with other people.
There tend to be periods that I don’t have any symptoms at all and other times I can’t hardly stand to be in a room with a ceiling fan. It seems that I have to excessively pop my ears compared to other people. An elevator ride from the first floor to the second requires popping one or both ears. My left ear is more annoying than the right and I’ve been experiencing more symptoms since I had Covid in November. My left ear has been ringing since then. I don’t know if those things are correlated or not but I also find it interesting the last time I had as much trouble riding in a car as I do right now when during puberty and hormone levels are changing again as a woman of 46.
I have been to my doctor once about a month ago and had impacted wax removed from my left ear. I was hoping for relief, however, the vertigo has been worse since. I live in Indiana and last week we took a vacation to eastern Tennessee and was miserable for most of it. The pressure in my head was terrible and the elevation changes were making me panic while riding with my husband. The best way I can describe it was like my ear drum was vibrating and what my eyes were seeing wasn’t matching up with what my ears were saying. It was scarily disorienting. I haven’t felt that way since the panic attacks I had in junior high, this why I am here, and why I have decided I’m going to keep pushing my doctor to determine what this is. It’s not always this bad so something has changed and here’s hoping to speed along a return to my version of normal, where I only hate ceiling fans a little.