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24 Mar 2003

Vertigo / Labarynthitis - DESPERATE
Hi Doc,
I had my first attack of labarynthitis about a eighteen months ago, and responded to treatment, using Sturgeron. In August of last year, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and high cholesterol. I was also suffering from depression around that time. I was prescribed Eltroxin, Lipitor and Cipramil. I only took the Lipitor for 3 months and since then have controlled my cholesterol through diet and exercise. I had my second attack of Labarythitis around September last year and have had an attack every month since then (at least, that's what my doctor has diagnosed). I have been treated with Serc, Sturgeron and Maxalon, with no effect. My vertigo attacks last for about two weeks and recur monthly. The only connection that I have managed to make is to Cipramil - sometimes I run out and it takes me a while to get to the chemist to fill the script again. I have stopped taking it completely now (about 2 weeks) ago, and have been plagued by "shifts" since last Tuesday. I have been referred to an ENT, and he said that I have also have nystagmus in my right eye. I can trigger the vertigo by moving my eyes to the left or right. The ENT has referred me for an ENG, but this test is prohibitively expensive - I have hospital cover only. Is it plausible that i have had the same viral infection for the last seven months, or could it be linked to the Cipramil? I'm terrfied that I have a tumour or something and need to know what other steps I should be taking. I have suffered a head trauma in the past (I was shot behind my right ear in 1997 - a flesh wound mostly). Could that be the cause of the problem. I apologise for the extremely long question, but I am desperate. I don't want to waste any more money.
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Expert
CyberDoc
CyberDoc

01 Jan 0001

Amanda, I doubt that it’s due to the Cipramil® or the head trauma, but I suppose it’s possible. The vertigo started before you started the Cipramil® and long after the head trauma. Still you won’t be the first person that developed problems long after having received trauma to the head.
You have to remember that vertigo is a sensation of motion when there is no motion or an exaggerated sense of motion in response to a given bodily movement. Thus, vertigo is not just “spinning” or dizziness, but may present as a sense of tumbling, of falling backward or forward, or of the ground rolling. Any disease that can affect the vestibular apparatus (inner ear) can cause vertigo. There are a lot more causes of vertigo than just labyrinthitis, and it would be foolish not to make sure that there isn’t another cause.
The following are some of the most common causes of vertigo.
Length of vertigo episode = seconds
*Hearing affected => Perilymphatic fistula
*Hearing not affected => Positional vertigo, vertebrobasilar insufficiency, cervical vertigo
Length of vertigo episode = hours
*Hearing affected =>Ménière’s syndrome, syphilis
*Hearing not affected => Vestibular migraine
Length of vertigo episode = days
*Hearing affected =>Labyrinthitis, injury of the labyrinth
*Hearing not affected => Vestibular neuronitis
Length of vertigo episode = months
*Hearing affected =>Acoustic neuroma, drugs
*Hearing not affected => Multiple sclerosis, cerebral degeneration
At the end of the day, I can’t give you a definite opinion without examining you first. Maybe the best would be to get a second opinion from a neurologist. Good luck.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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