Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meniere’s disease and allergic stings

My wife has been having problems with her allergies lately. Here in Atlanta we are getting the first wave of pollen, although it seems a little early. My wife had been put through a battery of tests to determine what she was allergic too. The usual suspects such as dog hair, pollen, aspirin type products caused a reaction. While I haven’t had any problems with allergies I have to wonder if my own skin rashes in the past have played any part in my meniere’s disease.

I don’t remember if I had written about this before but when I was teenager I had bad reaction to a wasp bite that caused an emergency room visit. About 10 years ago I also had several stings occur when I accidentally stepped into a wasp nest (It was either wasps or yellow jackets). After that incident I have carried an epipen with me. I know from previous comments that others with meniere’s have had experiences with stings.

Here is one from the end of 2009…

“Evan Myrian said...

I think there is something to be said for this.

My meniere's started quickly in the wake of a bee sting. After getting stung i quickly went into anaphylactic shock. My first meniere's episode followed within a couple of weeks. That was nine years ago. i have long suspected a connection.”

I don’t know if that had anything to do with my meniere’s but it seems an interesting connection.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another look at homeopathy and Meniere’s disease

I know that I have mentioned in the past about how many people have found relief with alternative medicines when dealing with Meniere’s disease. Such things as bioflavonoid, ginger root, niacin and vitamin C are among many herbs and supplements are things that folks take to lessen the effects of this disorder. In my own case I used to take a supplement that had many of those things in it. I really never knew if they helped or not. I have to wonder though because I stopped taking them last fall and it hasn’t made things worse. I still get the same attacks and dizziness when I was taking it.

Some things work for some people and not others.

Don’t get me wrong in my case it might not help but I have read where it has been helpful for some folks, but I don’t think it helped me any, although at one time I believe that it did. Of course I haven’t tried everything. I still get comments about vertigo heel and how helpful it can be. While it is more of a medicine than a supplement, Betaserc is very popular especially in Europe.

One thing that I would do before starting to take any medication is to check with your regular doctor and see if there is any harm in taking a particular supplement especially if you are on certain medications.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

One method of having gentamicin put in your ear

I have written a lot about my experiences with gentamicin injections and that seems to be a popular topic among readers. Some believe it is worthwhile others don’t think so. In my own case I don’t really think that the six shots that I had did any good, if anything it seems to make my balance worse. Another problem, at least for me, was that pain involved with it. My eardrums are very sensitive so even the application of the anesthetic on my eardrum hurt. I know that the level of discomfort is different from person to person. Through one of the comments that I received the other day I learned something about one of the options of how the medicine is given.

This comment comes from Peggy who was responding to the post on caloric water test. Here is part of the comment.

“I never had pain when the doctor applied anything to my eardrum to numb it, but at one point when I was putting the gentamicin into my own ear by way of a tiny tube in the eardrum, if the gentamicin wasn't warmed up to body temperature, it was agonizing when it went through the tube to the middle ear. “

I don’t think that I had heard about putting the gentamicin in your ear by yourself. I looked up Dr. Hain website and it had a write up about it. Apparently in his office he doesn’t recommend it because of the negative effects that it has on the patient.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Meniere’s Disease and the Neti Pot

As many of you know I also have problems with sleep apnea, which continually wakes me up at night. Right now I just living with it till I have more time to deal with it. I have tried the CPAP mask and I haven’t been able to get used to it. Anyway I have come across a lot of interesting ways to help relieve the sleep apnea and one of those is to use a neti pot which helps flush nasal congestion. I never tried it but I received a comment from someone who has meniere’s and who has used it.

Here is part of the comment from Lita...

“My very first vertigo episode took place less than 4 hours after using a Neti Pot, which is a nasal flush. Interesting that I never had vertigo until I created intense water generated pressure in my head, although I resorted to the Neti pot when nothing seemed to relieve cold symptoms I was having at the time. Seems the Neti pot result would be similar to this water test you had and could easily create a bad reaction.”

Thanks Lita that is really interesting.

It is always intriguing to hear about different things that bring on vertigo attacks. You have wonder why the water has an effect inside the ear for some folks and not others.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

My experience with a caloric water test

A few weeks ago I had some tests done to determine if there was any vestibular damage done in my ear. I had other similar tests done in the past but this particular time I was given the caloric water test. A couple of years ago I also have the chance to have this test done but I backed out. Why? The short answer is that I was scared. I know that is very logical to be scared of a test where water is poured into the ear and then drained out a moment later but I had my reasons.

When I had my gent injections probably the most painful thing was having the pain medicine dabbed on my eardrum. For some reason my eardrums especially on the ‘bad’ ear are very sensitive. Or then again it could just be me that has a low threshold for pain. That is why I wasn’t keen on having the caloric water test done.

Fortunately the test really wasn’t bad at all. The tech put in hot and cold water in one ear at a time and it was uncomfortable but not painful. Goggles were placed over my eyes and I was instructed to look at a light in the corner of my vision. After the water was put in my ears the tech can see what type of movement was coming from my eyes.

As for the results it was rather predictable. My right ear was responsive like any normal ear would be, whereas the left ear, my bad ear, wasn’t responsive at all. So there definitely was some vestibular damage in my left ear.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Does Meniere’s disease run in the family?

Both my mother and father come from big families. I have lots of cousins, so many of them that I don’t really even know them and I don’t know much about their health. On my mother’s side diabetes seems to be prevalent so I always am concerned about my sugar level whereas on my father’s side heart problems had plagued many if not most of his brothers so I am keenly aware of my cholesterol and blood pressure level. But as far as Meniere’s disease I really hadn’t heard about anyone on either side of the family having any problems with that or any kind of balance disorder, until the other day.

I received an email a little while back from the daughter of one my cousins. I really didn’t know much more than her name because she had moved away when I was young. But it appears that my cousin has suffered from Meniere’s disease for many years. Although I had read once before that Meniere’s disease sometimes runs in the family I didn’t think that it happened that much. I was quite surprised. I now wonder if anyone else on my father’s side also had this.

According to Dr. Hain’s website “About one in three patients with Meniere’s disease have a first-degree relative with Meniere’s disease. In theory, hereditary predisposition might be related to differences in anatomy of fluid channels within the ear or differences in immune response.”

I can’t remember exactly but I think there have been comments that back up the contention that Meniere’s does run the family.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Teeth extraction and Meniere’s disease

I am always concerned when I have some kind of illness or medical problem that might conflict with my Meniere’s disease. The problems usually bring on a Meniere’s attack or the medication that I take for it can also bring on a Meniere’s attack. Not only the pain of the teeth was causing me great grief, it was also giving me an earache. Which you can imagine is not a good thing if you have Meniere’s. A few times the earache was so bad that I started to get dizzy but luckily it didn’t evolve into a full blown attack.

The other day I went to the dentist to have 2 teeth extracted. The teeth were beyond saving; even the dentist that I saw didn’t think I could even have a crown put on them. So he sent me to an oral surgeon that I went to before to have a wisdom tooth pulled out. (I wrote a post about it over a year ago). The wisdom tooth came out very easy, so I thought that these 2 wouldn’t be a problem either. Unfortunately I was wrong. Each tooth took a long time to be extracted, the dentist had to bust up each of them and pull them out bit by bit. It didn’t hurt because of the Novocain. But after a few hours at home the pain started and that time I began taking med pains something that I don’t like to do but in this case I had too.

I would love to hear from anyone else about how dental problems affected their Meniere’s disease.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meniere’s disease and being disoriented

Meniere’s disease brings a lot of trouble into your life. The symptoms can cause your world to turn upside down (no pun intended). I know for me that the vertigo is the worst because it comes unannounced and sticks around for a long time. But I have also had other symptoms like balance problems where I feel that I can’t trust myself at times to walk a straight line as if I were drunk. And of course there is the stress of worrying about having an attack that never leaves. Tinnitus which is common among Meniere’s patients is something that I occasionally have but not that much. One symptom that is not often mentioned, and I don’t think that I have written about it is being disoriented.

What is disorientation?

According the medical dictionary disorientation is “a state of mental confusion characterized by inadequate or incorrect perceptions of place, time, or identity. Disorientation may occur in organic mental disorders, in drug and alcohol intoxication, and, less commonly, after severe stress.”

I have certainly felt that way at times especially after I have had a particularly bad attack. Although I know where I am at there certainly is confusion at times.

What brings on the disorientation?

Although the above definition says that being disoriented from severe stress is less common, it probably plays a big part when it comes to Meniere’s disease. The spinning from vertigo also has to be considered to be a big part of being disoriented. Anyone who has become dizzy, whether they have Meniere’s or not, usually is disoriented to some degree.

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