Unexplained dizziness

This article really resonates with me, as well as a close friend of mine, because we've both gone through severe dizzy spells on and off without an exact diagnosis;

"I have had trouble with dizzy spells for the last three years. I have been to several doctors and have had every kind of balance test. Vertigo and Meniere's have been ruled out. The last doctor I saw was a E.N.T. The only thing he could think was maybe the veins in my head were contracting. When I get up in the morning I am good for about three hours, (but then) I start having a roaring sound in my head and I get sleepy and dizzy and have to lie down. My medical doctor has me on Valium — the only thing I am taking." — James Huff

Dizziness is a common issue I see in my clinic. It can be associated with many different conditions and may require a lot of time and testing to arrive at the proper diagnosis.

Dizziness is a broad term. Vertigo and lightheadedness are the most common symptoms described by patients as dizziness. Vertigo is the sensation of environmental spin or self-rotation, while lightheadedness is the feeling of near fainting. A thorough neurological exam will properly categorize your symptoms.

If vertigo is suspected, I would consider examining the inner ear, vestibulocochlear nerve and brainstem, with MRI or auditory evoked response testing. Recurrent lightheadedness necessitates an investigation of the heart and cardiovascular system.

Other conditions that can manifest as dizziness are migraine, effects of some drugs (including over-the-counter medications and supplements) or even anxiety."

Source: The Daily News Journal, by Dr. Michael Yu, Neurologist, 9/14/10

I get sudden dizziness and have had it on and off for years...only lately when it happens the attacks are worse and come on suddenly and a violent spinning motion. I find the only thing that helps is if I take gravol and go to bed and sleep. The dizziness is usually gone when I wake up but I feel week for a day or so. I have gone to the doctor several times over the years about this problem and all they can say it's Vertigo.

Bagzy, I am so sorry that you are experiencing such severe dizziness, though it's good that you have a proper diagnosis. Has your doctor given you any helpful guidance and insight on how to minimize the dizziness or is taking the gravol the only way to do so?

This hits home. I suffered with attacks of vertigo that would last from seconds to days with recovery time. I spent 2 years on valium. This was the only way I could function and I will still take for long car rides. I was lucky to find an ENT that researches vertigo. Come to find out migraines is a disease and one of the symtoms is vertigo. I did suffer from migraines as a child and young adult. For over a year I have been 95% better and the only thing I have to do is remember to take my pill everyday!

Hi Eastaltonangel, thank you so much for sharing your story with us, I am so sorry for what you have been going through, though I am so happy that you found a solution so that you can function day-to-day without dizziness.