Sunday, February 12, 2012

Visional focus and Meniere’s disease

You probably recall that I had some problems with Meniere’s attacks at the end of last year. They came out of nowhere and then ended quickly (thankfully). Well this past week I have had some similar problems without the severe attacks just light-headedness and a little dizziness. What brought it on? I’m not sure but I have to wonder if it isn’t due to my vision or maybe a combination of my vision and my balance.

If you have read any of the comments on the posts that deal with vision and Meniere’s then you would have to believe that vision plays a big part in this disorder, which makes sense because vision is an important factor in our balance. My vision problem occurring this past week seems to be a loss of focus where my sight seems to “bounce around” making me jerk my head straight in order to avoid an attack. Of course that action doesn’t always prevent my head spinning but it helps sometimes.

I haven’t had my eyes examined since I had my cataract surgery so it may be time for me to go back for a checkup. I’m not sure that will help, but you never know.

Related posts

Meniere’s disease and vision

Prism lens and Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease and eye movement

Meniere’s disease and eyes playing tricks

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  1. Hi Dave,
    I have had 'visual vertigo' since i got unwell. I was advised this was caused by migraine. It has stopped at this point, but it is too early to tell if it has stopped due to the migraine medications or it just stopped by itself. It usually occurred in front of the computer.

    One vision problem i notice i still have is a shimmering of certain objects when i stare at them

  2. I have had a lot of problems stemming from being in front of the computer too.

  3. What I have noticed is that I feel off balance when my eyes are tired. Since most of my balance now comes from my eyes, I feel worse when my eyes are tired. I have to make a conscious decision to go to bed early and get enough sleep. I'm really scared about what's going to happen when my baby is born, I will be dealig with that and with a 4 year old, but I guess that's what a good support system is for right. And paternity leave for my husband!

  4. David, yes, the computer has caused some problems for me...I'm nervous one day I will not be able to 'enjoy' as much time as I do now on it. I've had 2 attacks that I'm pretty darn sure came from over using the computer...which seems really strange to me. I had no idea they could be linked, but I had no other triggers and had spent numerous hours reading a novel online both times it happened. Still not sure why that would be the case...but if my 'eyes' were moving too much, maybe? strange! but glad to hear someone else struggles with computer use.

  5. I have had many attacks triggered by reading, writing or using the PC. However, I think the reading etc. is not the cause, it is just the trigger - the underlying cause is pressure in the inner ear, following which many things can trigger the attack (reading is just one, others for me would be skipping a meal, stacking firewood). Recently I was barely able to read at all for a month or more.

    Before the inability to read, I had quite a long difficult period for me with partial ability to read (short periods only). I was studying Russian at university and unable to complete assignments for 18 months or so. Before that I had to abandon my ambition to be a professional opera singer because of MD (I had just started to audition with opera houses).

    Diagnosed with MD 3 1/2 years ago, but probably had it for decades. 2 brief periods (6 weeks and then 10 weeks, 3 years later) of severe drop attacks, sometimes with bad vomiting and diarrhoea. But obvious symptoms and mild attacks in the period in between.

    Situation considerably improved since I started taking medication recently - betahistine dihydrochloride (which I think is the most common choice here in New Zealand and in the UK), although I still get attacks, sometimes severe. I am seeing if I can rehabilitate myself to the point where I can return to university. My ability to read, use the PC etc. is much improved since taking the meds, but I don't like being in the position where I have to use the PC for long periods (e.g. report writing). That can trigger an attack quite easily.

    When I stopped taking the medication, I had increasing ear pressure, tinnitus and a mild vertigo attack within less than 24 hrs, so I went straight back on the meds.

    I believe regular sleep (I take an afternoon nap) is good for mitigating MD. It is known to be good for general health and things like blood pressure too, of course.

    Hope that helps.

  6. Hi Paul,
    I have noticed that after an attack I become very tired so I definitely agreed with you about getting as much rest as possible.

  7. hello
    fatigue is a huge part of menieres
    i dont know if its the drugs, ot the illness to be honest, thats why i am so pro operations, as i really wanna come off all these drugs.

    1. I have a theory that a lot of the fatigue comes from the body's need to be constantly vigilant and compensating for the effects of the disease. I asked my husband once if he could see me wobbling and weaving when I walked, and he said no, but I looked like I was really concentrating.

      That turned on a big light in my brain. My body works full-time to walk a straight line and keep from falling down. That's exhausting work.

      Your ear stops working as a balance organ when you have Meniere's, because it is so compromised by the illness. So the rest of your body has to work to compensate and keep you upright. At least, that's my theory.

    2. I think that totally makes sense. I am always really tired after an attack. It reminds me of the fatigue that seizure patients have after a seizure. I just think the body is worn out from trying to compensate. I often try to work through an attack, not have to leave and go home from work. I don't know if I am making it worse. I hope that when I retire and am able to get all the rest I need that it will get better.
      I tried Betahistine here in the USA. I had it compounded since it is not FDA approved. Unfortunately it did not help me. I still kept having as many attacks. I wonder if they use anything else around the world that is not common in the USA.

    3. Tricia, I wonder the same thing about remedies or treatments in other parts of the world. I remember someone on this blog who had a friend in Japan who was having a terrible time with Meniere's, but the doctors there didn't know much and didn't seem to take a strong interest in it.

      I also remember there was a conference for ENT specialists about Meniere's Disease last November, somewhere in the Mediterranean. Anyway, it was going to gather doctors from around the world. I'd love to know the major revelations of that event.

      I also tried the betahistine without results, aside from some bad effects on my asthma. Onward and upward.