My Struggles with Dizzy Spells
Unfortunately, dizziness is a very common issue for those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis. Of course, this doesn’t make the experience any easier and might even just knowing it is common, make matters worse. It could cause anyone to think it will happen often and or it will never end, but it does end in time. Dizziness rarely continues without an end in MS patients.
Dizziness is a condition known also as vertigo. This issue may cause a person to feel off-balanced, lightheaded, or have a sensation either they or their surroundings are spinning. Even though dizziness and vertigo are often thought to be the same and discussed together, they are both very unpleasant, but also different.
Allow me to describe what dizziness and vertigo mean. Dizziness is used to explain a variety of sensations, such as feeling faint, woozy, weak, or unsteady. This can give a false sense you or your surroundings are spinning, which is called vertigo. Vertigo is not necessarily a condition, but it is rather a symptom. Vertigo may not be noticeable, but can also be severe enough to make it difficult to maintain balance, creating a higher fall potential.
Of course, vertigo is common with multiple sclerosis, which is the reason I am so familiar with this symptom, but it also impacts almost 40% of adults in the United States at least once during their lifetime. In general, this is more common in older individuals, but people of any age can be affected.
There are two main types of vertigo, peripheral vertigo which has other types as well, and central vertigo. Peripheral Vertigo is the result of an issue with the inner ear, which is what controls our balance. The first type of peripheral vertigo is known as Benign Paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This form is the most common, typically causing short, frequent spells of vertigo. It is believed that small pieces of the anatomical debris break off from the inner ear canal and prompts small hairs lining the inner ear. This process confuses the brain causing the dizziness sensation.
Another type of peripheral vertigo is called Labyrinthitis, which causes dizziness or a sensation of moving when you are perfectly still. An inner ear infection is the common cause of this type of vertigo. There are often other symptoms the will follow the infection, including fever and earache. The infection is in a structure in the inner ear that controls both balance and hearing known as the labyrinth. The infection may be caused by a viral illness such as a cold, flu, or a bacterial ear infection.
Vestibular neuronitis is a type of vertigo that is also known as Vestibular Neuritis. There is an unexpected onset of vertigo that may cause unsteadiness, earache, nausea, and or vomiting. This is normally the result of an infection that spread to the vestibular nerves, which controls our balance. A viral infection, such as a cold or flu will commonly follow.
Meniere’s disease produces unforeseen vertigo that may last up to 24-hours. Vertigo experienced is most often severe causing nausea and vomiting. Meniere’s disease may also cause hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and feeling of fullness n the ears.
Central Vertigo is a clinical condition causing an individual to experience hallucinations involving motion. These hallucinations may be in their surroundings or a feeling of spinning while remaining completely still, this is a result of a dysfunction of the vestibular structures in the central nervous system (CNS).
Vertigo that arises from Central Vertigo is common because of a disease that begins in the central nervous system. Lesions on cranial nerve VIII are common as well.
Vertigo symptoms may be different from person to person. Depending on what is causing the sue, symptoms can range from mild to severe and anything in between. The symptoms of peripheral vertigo and central vertigo have distinct differences which are as follows:
Peripheral Vertigo has signs and symptom that consist of:
*Feeling you are moving or spinning
*Problems focusing eyes
*Hearing loss in one ear
*Ringing in ears
*Nausea or vomiting
Central Vertigo signs and symptoms may consist of:
*Eye movement issues
*Weakness in limbs
When you go to your doctor with issues of dizziness, the doctor should do the following ask questions regarding the symptoms and current medications. He should also complete physical exams which include viewing the way you walk and maintain balance and how major nerves of the central nervous system work
Other tests the doctor may order are: eye movement tests, head movement tests, posturography, rotary chair test, and blood work to check for infections.
If you start experiencing dizziness it is best to consult with your physician to find the cause and determine the best treatment plan. Issues with dizziness are not usually life threatening, but it is still best to have a treatment that will best help deal with these issues.
This past Wednesday, I started having massive dizzy spells early in the day. Considering I have dealt with these multiple times during my MS lifetime, I thought it would be best to rest and let it subside on its own. Unfortunately, later in the evening it only got worse causing me to fall twice. I was not injured from these falls thankfully, but it was still alarming. I still was having dizzy spells into Thursday, but they were nowhere near as awful. I am happy to say that today I have been dizzy spell free for almost two days and hope it will stay that way. The only thing I can think is that the heat and humidly is what caused my two days of dizziness. It isn’t even officially summer time, but the southern heat is already pretty bad.
Thank y’all for visiting my site today. I hope you are having a nice, relaxing and safe weekend so far. It leaves me speechless how many people are not taking COVID-19 seriously because where I live the cases are increasing in triple digits now. Of course, I do what I can to stay safe by leaving the house only when necessary and when I do I wear a mask! I would love to read any comments you may have about dizzy spells and if you experience them how you try to manage them. I promise to respond to all comments within 24 hours and hopefully sooner than that! Please know that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!