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Author Topic: Ear pain, vertigo, weather, and anxiety.  (Read 228 times)

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Offline Toasted Butter

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Ear pain, vertigo, weather, and anxiety.
« on: May 31, 2014, 11:34:57 PM »
Here's my dilemma... in the last year or so I started to get bouts of vertigo and generally just feel off-balance. It can last for hours or weeks. I've noticed that it gets bad when the weather is changing, and sometimes I get ear pain as well. Certain sounds feel like they are punching in my ears; high pitch sounds like my youngest child's voice are piercing, and low sounds like the AC fan feel like throbbing in my head. I just want to get away and bury my head under a pillow, but this makes me miss out on things I love. It is even worse when I have allergies or a head cold. The problem is that the feeling of vertigo can cause major anxiety for me and I can't seem to shake it. Every time I feel like I'm falling over I get super anxious, and this can go on for a long time.

Lately I've been thinking that my anxiety causes me to clench my jaws tightly, especially while I sleep, and this might be causing pressure on my inner ear/Eustachian tubes, making my ear fluid do weird things and causing (or at least exacerbating) my vertigo and ear issues. Weather systems seem to make it bad, especially when they are preceded by high winds, and I think this is related to the pressure imbalance in my ears. It's gotten so that if I see clouds on the horizon I just go back to bed.

On the other hand, I also know that anxiety itself can sometimes directly make me feel dizzy, so I have a hard time discerning whether I'm feeling dizzy because I'm anxious, or anxious because I'm dizzy, or both. How do you know whether the chicken or the egg comes first? How do you even start to treat something when you don't know where the cycle begins? Even if I somehow manage to get all the other anxiety symptoms under control, I still feel dizzy, sometimes for quite a while, and so the anxiety just returns. The ear/nose/throat doctor thinks my anxiety is a big part of it and gave me some simple exercises to help, but they haven't done any good at all. And frankly I can't afford any more visits to him even if I thought he could help.
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Offline AP151

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Re: Ear pain, vertigo, weather, and anxiety.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 11:39:29 PM »
Ear pain with vertigo is a pretty open and shut case to me but I'm no Dr. by any stretch. The feeling of dizziness you get because of the ear issue is of course exacerbated by the anxiety.
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Offline Toasted Butter

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Re: Ear pain, vertigo, weather, and anxiety.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 11:44:58 PM »
My primary physician prescribed me some meds for sea-sickness and vertigo, but they cause me to have weird dreams and worsen my anxiety so i can't take them. I tend to get hyper-vigilant about medication side-effects after having had some really bad ones, which makes it hard for doctors to help me when I can't take the stuff they usually prescribe to help my condition. So I end up feeling stuck in this vicious loop.
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Offline AP151

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Re: Ear pain, vertigo, weather, and anxiety.
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2014, 12:16:15 AM »
I understand, especially the hyper-vigilance. When I was going through a bout of ALS fear I was so incredibly aware of my left leg that wearing pants felt totally awkward. Every little movement of my leg felt so weird because of the pants touching my leg. The same thing happens with my neck soreness. When I'm conscious of it, it changes to a totally different feeling than the normal soreness I experience.
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"To live is rarest thing in the world. Most just simply exist." - Oscar Wilde

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