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Symptoms common to VM, MAV & SEH

#1

Chronic vestibular conditions are complex, and not everyone experiences them exactly the same way, but there are many common symptoms, though you may not experience all of them. Specifically, sometimes sufferers only experience the vestibular symptoms whilst not having any aural symptoms. Sometimes the aural symptoms are experienced, but only in phases, whilst the unluckiest get aural symptoms 24/7.

Whilst the conditions share an almost identical set of symptoms, VM & MAV are thought to be caused by a central issue in the nervous system and the brain, whilst SEH is very much an inner ear condition. There is, however, a fair amount of controversy around this distinction and the aetiology of all three conditions has yet to be fully determined scientifically. Several hypotheses are well established however.

One common feature to all conditions is how its presentation morphs. Even after several years of the condition it is very possible to experience a symptom you’ve never had before.

Symptoms common to VM, MAV & SEH include:

24/7:

  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Imbalance, unsteadiness on feet
  • “Marshmallow floor”
  • A feeling one leg is heavier or longer than the other.
  • Ear specific:
    • Tinnitus (fluctuating, intermittent or persistent)
    • Dulled hearing
    • Ear pressure
    • Ear pain
    • Fluid sensations in one or both ears
    • A feeling of ear ‘fullness’
  • Motion intolerance
  • Nausea
  • “Brain rumbles”
  • Vision specific:
    • Eye strain
    • Visual Hallucinations
    • Trouble focusing
    • Discomfort in front of or intolerance of computer, TV or video screens
  • Rocking or Push-pull sensations & false motion
  • Discomfort in reclining position, e.g. in bed and/or during turning.

Attacks of varying regularity, degrees of severity and duration:

  • Incapacitating & incredibly uncomfortable migraines that involve intense motion intolerance that can last over 10 hours
  • ‘Regular’ migraines with or without aura.
  • Spinning attacks, where you feel the world spin around you which can cause intense nausea
  • Rocking or Push-pull sensations & false motion
  • “Magneto Head” where you feel your head is being pulled to the ground
  • Brain fog, where cognitive function is significantly impaired, you feel like you can’t think. This is a scary and debilitating symptom, but just like the others, it passes eventually.

There’s an expanded list below including more unusual ones!

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Can anyone relate to these symptoms?
#9

User Submitted List of Symptoms!

An expanded list including all the symptoms that our board members have reported. You may not experience them all! Please bear in mind, though, that not all of them may be officially recognised as VM/MAV/SEH symptoms!

Vestibular:

  • Dizziness
  • Spinning attacks, where you feel the world spin around you which can cause intense nausea (true vertigo)
  • Light-headedness
  • Imbalance, unsteadiness on feet
  • Motion intolerance
  • “Marshmallow floor”, a feeling the floor is made of soft material.
  • Feeling that path/road etc is moving up and down as you walk on it
  • Rocking or Push-pull sensations & false motion
  • “Magneto Head” where you feel your head is being pulled to the ground
  • Mal d’embarquement - feeling like you are on a boat or just got off a boat, seasickness on dry land

Visual:

  • Eye strain
  • Visual Hallucinations/Visual distortions, e.g. where colours seem too vivid, or buildings seem to be like surrealist painting, clouds seem like animations or true hallucinations such as seeing things fall or fly by that aren’t there
  • Visual snow, flashing, colours, spots, ‘trails’ and after images, etc - non-classic visual aura
  • Trouble focusing
  • Sensitivity to bright light/photophobia
  • Discomfort in front of or intolerance of computer, TV or video screens
  • ‘Visual lag’ ie where there seems to be a time lag between motion, eye and brain
  • Appearance of objects moving in parallax eg looks like trees are moving behind each other, like horizon is moving against sky or a portion of the visual field is rotating

Ear-centric:

  • Tinnitus (fluctuating, intermittent or persistent)
  • Dulled hearing
  • Ear pressure
  • Ear pain
  • Fluid sensations in one or both ears
  • A feeling of ear ‘fullness’
  • Sensitivity to loudness (* Hyperacusis (everything sounds too loud)/phonophobia)
  • Dryness ‘cracking’ in eustachian tube.

Neurological:

  • Nausea
  • “Brain rumbles”
  • Incapacitating & incredibly uncomfortable migraines that involve intense motion intolerance that can last over 10 hours
  • ‘Regular’ migraines with or without aura (i.e. with headache?)
  • Brain fog, where cognitive function is significantly impaired, you feel like you can’t think. This is a scary and debilitating symptom, but just like the others, it passes eventually.
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual headache sensations, eg crawling headache up back of head, headache or scalp/painful scalp, head pain in specific and unusual areas
  • Classic migraine visual aura without headache (blind spots, scintillating scotoma, zigzagging lines, etc)
  • Anxiety or sense of doom
  • Feeling of unreality/displacement (eg i’m standing in my road, but it doesn’t feel like my road)
  • Pain or pressure in the crown of the head or behind the eyes
  • Brain zaps, brain hiccups or electrical storms

Neuropathic:

  • Numbness of face
  • Numbness of tongue
  • Numbness of hands, feet, legs, including tingling of legs, general feeling of weakness

Other:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Tightness of stomach, churning
  • Bloodshot eyes during and between episodes
  • Fatigue, or cycles of fatigue and restlessness.
  • Insomnia due to symptoms
  • Exaggerated motion sickness or motion intolerance (eg being passenger in car could cause nausea, or could cause headache or brain fog and other symptoms)
  • A sense of crawling tiredness behind the eyes when you’re trying to process motion etc during these episodes
  • Neck pain
  • Feeling like you have sinus or ear infections when you don’t

Especially odd ones:

  • A feeling one leg is heavier or longer than the other.
  • Discomfort in reclining position, e.g. in bed and/or during turning.
  • Heavy head - where you feel like you’ve been drugged and are barely awake/conscious
  • “Rubber ball head” i.e where you feel like your brain is bouncing around like a rubber ball
  • False fever: slightly raised skin temperature and feeling of fever, without real temperature rise, sweating [NB always get this checked out in case of real fever]
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Please review symptom list in wiki: (was: can we do a SYMPTOM SURVEY?)
Weird symptoms
Lighting