Why Your Dizziness and Vertigo Won’t Leave You Alone

Why Your Dizziness and Vertigo Won’t Leave You Alone

Dizzy spells. For some of us, it may happen after a trip on a whirling carnival ride. A sense of unbalance coupled with nausea. We promise ourselves not to try any more carnival rides (at least for the rest of the year). In an hour or two, the unpleasant sensation leaves us and we happily continue our lives, balanced and nausea-free.

But for so many others, the dizziness doesn’t leave. Or it comes so frequently, it just becomes another regular state of being. It becomes more than unpleasant; it becomes unbearable and yet it also becomes their new ‘normal.’ It’s not just dizziness that plagues them; nausea and difficulty with balance can supplement the dizzy spells. Sometimes car rides set it off (motion sickness); sometimes simply opening their eyes in the morning can set it off. For others, balance has all but fled—if they reach over to pick up a fallen item, dizziness can hit so suddenly, they may fall or stagger.

Unfortunately, without the right treatment, the difficulty with balance can grow worse as time goes on with no real resolution. They end up with walkers and wheelchairs, requiring assistance as they trek to another doctor’s appointment to find help, even after months or years of disappointment. Their dizziness, nausea, vertigo, or difficulty with balance may or may not have a known cause (“I fell on a patch of ice, and ever since then, I’ve had problems”; or it may gradually grow over time—“I wasn’t always like this.”) One thing is for certain: if their tests from their GP, neurologist, or ENT (ears, nose, throat) doctor all return clean and healthy, it may be their eyes causing the dizziness, nausea, and balance problems.

When images are misaligned, even just a hair, the eyes have to work extra hard to get into the right alignment so that the correct image can be sent to the brain. Some people are born with misalignment, while others may develop one from an accident (like a concussion or traumatic brain injury). After years of working overtime, eye muscles can give out—and once they do, a host of problems can begin.

Lisa L. was a dizzy sufferer who felt it began out of the blue. No fall, no accident, just a steadily increasing dizziness over time. Soon after, more symptoms sprouted: headaches so bad she couldn’t even open her eyes; a constant ringing in her left ear that made it difficult to hear others; a constant head-tilt (and ensuing neck ache) as she cocked her head to hear out of her better ear; and severe imbalance. She had CT scans, X-rays, MRIs and a series of other tests, all of which came back as normal.

Soon Lisa was fighting anxiety, a deep sense of unease, exacerbated by shopping malls and large stores. As a dentist, it was extremely worrisome that she had trouble focusing on her patients due to depth-perception issues. Even the music playing overhead softly became too much noise to handle.

It was Lisa’s husband who researched her symptoms online and found the term “vertical heterophoria.” When Lisa herself read up on it based on his advice, she began to cry. “This is me,” she said. “These symptoms all match up!”

Lisa and her husband made an appointment to see Dr. Debby Feinberg after taking the online questionnaire (IsItMyEyes.com) and finding out that she was a candidate for evaluation. Once there, Dr. Debby found that Lisa had misaligned images and that her eye muscles, tired from working to compensate for the misalignment, were no longer able to compensate. This resulted in the imbalance, headaches, anxiety, depth perception issues, and of course, the dizziness.

“The first time I tried on my aligning glasses, I felt as though I’d been stretched out, but in a good way!” Lisa said. “I was able to stand taller and straighter and walk with more ease and confidence. Before, I felt like an accordion—wound tight and tense.”

Soon after Lisa’s aligning glasses came in and she could wear them daily, her sound sensitivity disappeared. Her neck ache gradually vanished and has not returned since.

“At my lowest point, I wanted to kill myself,” Lisa revealed. “I’d begun to think my husband and sons deserved better. I couldn’t function normally…Thank goodness my husband found Vision Specialists. Others need to know so they can end their suffering too.”

If one or more of Lisa’s symptoms sound familiar, whether you see them in yourself or you know of someone suffering, please take the online questionnaire at IsItMyEyes.com. It’s free, it’s confidential, and it only takes a few minutes. It may change your life.

 

 


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Posted in Anxiety, Dizziness / Lightheadedness, Driving Difficulties, Headaches, Motion Sickness / Nausea, Neck Ache / Head Tilt, Patient Stories, Unsteadiness, Balance, and Depth Perception and tagged , , .

2 Comments

  1. I knew that dizziness was linked to the ears, but not the eyes. I’ve also heard it could be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. I’ve been feeling rather dizzy and lightheaded, so I’ve been wanting to figure out what is going on. What are some other potential causes of dizziness?

    • Hi Bethany,
      There are many causes for dizziness and lightheadedness, and it can be challenging to figure out just what exactly is going on. If your symptoms started recently, your journey should start with your primary care doctor, but further evaluation may be necessary including evaluation by specialists (like the ENT doctor or the neurologist or the NeuroVisual Specialist) and tests like CT’s and MRI’s. Since a visual cause is common, it would also be a good idea to fill out the Screening Questionnaire to see if your visual system might be involved – http://www.isitmyeyes.com.

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