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Constant dizziness

Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So for about a week now, I've been feeling light-headed almost all the time. The sensation is a bit like what you get when hyperventilating, only milder. It feels as if the world is gently swaying all the time, but there's no real vertigo in the sense that the world would be spinning or that I'd be in danger of losing balance. It's not position-dependent, and sudden movements or changes in position don't affect it at all. Occasionally my cheeks and ears feel hot, as if I were blushing.

The symptoms just showed up one morning, and have remained stable since then without getting better or worse. It's bad enough that I'm constantly aware of it, but not bad enough to actually keep me from working and studying. Sometimes the dizziness randomly disappears, but usually only for 15 minutes or so. Alcohol apparently helps; a glass of wine seems to make the dizziness disappear for a couple of hours. A hot shower seems to alleviate the symptoms for like half an hour. I've also had palpitations and rapid heartbeat on a couple of nights, but this is a symptom I've had all my life whenever I'm stressed. I've certainly been pretty stressed lately, and worrying about this isn't helping.

For the record I haven't had much exercise in the past three months due to an ankle injury, I've been sleeping irregularly and eating unhealthy crap, and as a result I've gained some weight. I'm returning to my normal, more or less healthy lifestyle now, so maybe it'll help. I do plan to see a doctor about this if it goes on, but a regular appointment is weeks away. Should I go to the ER or something? My google-fu tells me that dizziness is common and usually goes away on its own, but I don't know if constant dizziness for a week still qualifies as common and nothing to worry about.

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    BeeSampsBeeSamps Registered User new member
    edited March 2011
    How much water have you been drinking? I know I get super light headed if I'm not hydrated.

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    Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Dehydration is a possibility, but to be dehydrated long enough to be getting dizzy for days on end is a bit weird. Have you been getting headaches too?

    If it's not getting any worse you're probably safe to wait another week, but if you aren't just dehydrated you shoudl talk to a doctor about it. Can you just call your GP and ask?

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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    See if there's an urgent care available to you. It could literally be anything as benign as not drinking enough water, all the way up to tumor. A doctor is going to be the only one that can determine exactly what's wrong with you, and how best to get you back to normal.

    If urgent care isn't available, tell them the symptoms have been continuous for a week, and you'd really like to get seen sooner rather than later. They'll have people canceling appointments all the time, and should be able to put you on a call list, and get to you in a matter of days.

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    FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Hello,

    Your symptoms sound like your brain is not receiving enough oxygen, maybe is nothing, but you should be checked for any medical condition, low blood pressure (hypotension) and a stroke can cause this kind of dizziness.

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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    No headaches. Dehydration is definitely a possibility, as I haven't really paid attention to what I eat or drink lately, plus I've been drinking a lot of coffee. I'm remedying that now, we'll see what happens.

    I'll see if I can get into urgent care, because I'm gradually beginning to freak out. The entire (Finnish) healthcare system is a mystery to me since I've never really had to use it. It's free, but there are long queues for everything.

    edit: well I called and they said this doesn't really warrant urgent care unless it gets worse, so I'll have to wait a couple of weeks. Apparently it's most likely blood pressure related, or something to do with my ears. They said dizziness without any other symptoms is extremely unlikely to be a sign of anything life-threatening.

    Bliss 101 on
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    NinyuNinyu Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    You might have a mild ear or sinus infection. Been sick lately?

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    RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Allergies? I've noticed mine coming on with the warmer weather. I tend to get a lot of headaches and dizzyness.

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    schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Go see a doctor. Dizziness is never good, and could be something serious.
    I had serious dizzy spells (as in couldn't even stand up for periods of time), and it turned out to be labyrinthitis (inner ear imbalance). If it's that, you'll get some anti-dizzy pills and be on your way.

    schuss on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    No headaches. Dehydration is definitely a possibility, as I haven't really paid attention to what I eat or drink lately, plus I've been drinking a lot of coffee. I'm remedying that now, we'll see what happens.

    I'll see if I can get into urgent care, because I'm gradually beginning to freak out. The entire (Finnish) healthcare system is a mystery to me since I've never really had to use it. It's free, but there are long queues for everything.

    edit: well I called and they said this doesn't really warrant urgent care unless it gets worse, so I'll have to wait a couple of weeks. Apparently it's most likely blood pressure related, or something to do with my ears. They said dizziness without any other symptoms is extremely unlikely to be a sign of anything life-threatening.

    Do you still have a personal physician? Or is it more, whoever can see you will get to you? If it's the former, I suggest still calling and inquiring about a call-wait list.

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    Conroy BumpasConroy Bumpas Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    go to a doctor

    one possability is


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinthitis

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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    schuss wrote: »
    Go see a doctor. Dizziness is never good, and could be something serious.
    I had serious dizzy spells (as in couldn't even stand up for periods of time), and it turned out to be labyrinthitis (inner ear imbalance). If it's that, you'll get some anti-dizzy pills and be on your way.

    And just to the "this could be serious" thing, I had balance issues, and it ended up being a mass on my meninges that was pressing on my eighth nerve on the brain stem. Of course, I also presented with hearing loss in my right ear.

    But they still passed me around like a drunken frat girl, and took their sweet time. I got bounced from urgent care, to my personal physician, to ear/nose/throat, finally to neurology, and didn't get a damn MRI done for nearly two months. Four months before they got around to biopsying the thing.

    Thank god the mass ended up just being scar tissue, and not cancerous. But I ended up with a bad ass scar, and a metal plate in my head.

    OP, I don't tell you this to freak you out, just scare you enough to pressure these people to see you as soon as they can. Hydration is the most likely cause behind this, so start watching your water intake in the mean time.

    These people are overworked, and under appreciated, so it's understandable that they'll discourage visits as often as they feel is safe, but people with legit issues will get shoved to the sidelines as well, which is why you need to take charge.

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    schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'd recommend making an appointment with your GP ASAP, just to get the ball rolling. I had a similar pass-around (no MRI for me), and a bunch of balance/hearing tests.
    Dizziness is a really wide-ranging symptom, so it could be:
    Blood Pressure issues
    Stroke
    Clots
    Ear Infection
    Sinus issues
    General Hearing/ear degradation
    Brain Cancer
    Scar Tissue on Brain
    Neurological Diseases (many)
    Allergic response
    Dehydration
    Tinnitus

    It takes a while to eliminate things and nail it down. While I say I have Labrynthitis, there's still a possibility it's meniere's disease. Talk to a GP, and get to a good Ear/Nose/Throat person to start knocking things out. On the plus side, you get to go into a soundproof room and listen for tones, as well as get all sorts of funky balance things done!

    schuss on
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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    No headaches. Dehydration is definitely a possibility, as I haven't really paid attention to what I eat or drink lately, plus I've been drinking a lot of coffee. I'm remedying that now, we'll see what happens.

    I'll see if I can get into urgent care, because I'm gradually beginning to freak out. The entire (Finnish) healthcare system is a mystery to me since I've never really had to use it. It's free, but there are long queues for everything.

    edit: well I called and they said this doesn't really warrant urgent care unless it gets worse, so I'll have to wait a couple of weeks. Apparently it's most likely blood pressure related, or something to do with my ears. They said dizziness without any other symptoms is extremely unlikely to be a sign of anything life-threatening.

    Do you still have a personal physician? Or is it more, whoever can see you will get to you? If it's the former, I suggest still calling and inquiring about a call-wait list.

    Yeah, looks like I have a personal physician, even though I've never met her. :) I'll call again tomorrow and try to push for an earlier appointment. They did say that I should go get checked even if the symptoms disappear, so it sounds like they took me somewhat seriously.

    I wasn't terribly concerned when this started, figuring this is just some weird thing that will pass, but now that it's been a week I've started vacillating between "probably nothing" and OH MY GOD I'M DYING and it's driving me crazy.

    I bet it turns out to be too much earwax or something.

    Bliss 101 on
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    Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    I wasn't terribly concerned when this started, figuring this is just some weird thing that will pass, but now that it's been a week I've started vacillating between "probably nothing" and OH MY GOD I'M DYING and it's driving me crazy.

    I've been there man, so I sympathize. Just pray that you don't have to four months of those "OH MY GOD I'M DYING" feelings before you can relax.

    I used to have hair before this. It was thinning, but at least it was there.

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    ThreeCubedThreeCubed Grandma Winky's fat ankles Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'm going to throw anxiety into the pot as well. I know that anxiety has caused me to be constantly dizzy for weeks at a time. I was really doubtful of it, because I believed that I should only be dizzy during an anxiety attack (not all the time). But sure enough, it turned out to be anxiety!!

    Good luck at the Dr. Keep us updated.

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    joshuazjoshuaz Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Reading this thread gave me sudden onset dizziness.

    I'm gonna go drink a glass of water now.

    joshuaz on
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    spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Top possibility will definitely be a sinus infection. That's likely why a hot shower helps. You can't always tell you've got one from other symptoms either...

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    y2jake215y2jake215 certified Flat Birther theorist the Last Good Boy onlineRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    i had this problem once - oddly enough it suddenly started whenever i would eat tuna. for weeks i was dizzy and lightheaded, with a slight ringing in my ears. it would worsen if i ate tuna. stopped, and it eventually went away on its own. tried eating it again about 6 months later, and came right back. it was probably in my head at that point, but i'd be curious to know if you've eaten any canned tuna lately

    also, consider temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

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    adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    For the record I haven't had much exercise in the past three months due to an ankle injury, I've been sleeping irregularly and eating unhealthy crap

    It's likely just your lack of sleep. It'll make you.. loopy!

    adytum on
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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    adytum wrote: »
    For the record I haven't had much exercise in the past three months due to an ankle injury, I've been sleeping irregularly and eating unhealthy crap

    It's likely just your lack of sleep. It'll make you.. loopy!

    This is what I'm hoping for.

    Bliss 101 on
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    siroposiropo Registered User new member
    I have a similar problem for a week already... I went to two different doctors. One will test me for "hypoglycemia" and the other an MRI of my head to look for something "not normal" (hope the first doctor is right).

    Do you have any personal update? did you get cured???

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    eddizhereeddizhere Scrubber Than A Sponge Scrubtown, USARegistered User regular
    I had lightheadedness/dizziness, fast heart rate, occasional palpitations, and some pretty serious fatigue going on and it turned out to be that I was anemic. I assumed it was a combination of dehydration, depression, and not getting enough exercise but I eventually dragged myself to a doctor and they gave me a blood test that found my iron levels to be startlingly low.

    If it is anemia they'll give you some iron pills (or in extreme cases, a transfusion) and try and figure out if there's some underlying condition or if your body's just not absorbing iron well.

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    schussschuss Registered User regular
    go to a doctor

    one possability is


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labyrinthitis

    I have that, it sucks. No warning, just once every couple months/years I can't walk straight or even stand up. Thank god all my heavy drinking in college prepared me so well for the spins.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Necro thread guys.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Well since this thread got reanimated, I might as well post the update I forgot to post back then.

    This turned out to be a case of ear wax buildup, which was pretty amusing because at some point I was convinced I was going to die. There was some kind of a petrified lump of ear wax lodged in my ear. According to the doctor this is an uncommon cause for such symptoms (uncommon enough that they decided to run blood tests just in case, even after cleaning my ear had seemed to cure the symptoms), but it can happen.

    Bliss 101 on
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