Vertigoo / Dizziness

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Active member
Apr 3, 2018
Loved one DX
Hello everyone,

Lately, my father has been having short episodes of dizziness and vertigo. He literally says that his head "goes away." Today he was shaving, standing alone, in front of the mirror, and almost fell because he got dizzy. The weird thing is that he can walk for a mile with a cane without risk of falling, but then sometimes out of nowhere, unrelated to balance, he might have an episode of dizziness and he needs to sit down quickly. Has anyone experienced this? I am wondering if it might be perhaps unrelated to his disease (PLS with 3 years of symptoms).

It could be an unrelated vestibular dysfunction or a vascular (circulatory) issue affecting the brain stem. I’d start with over-the-counter meclizine (Antevert) and plenty of hydration. See the physician if it persists.

As far as a possible relationship to PLS, I’ll defer to others on that...
The most common cause of vertigo is benign positional. It can come and go.

I was diagnosed with Meniere's disease, then the diagnosis was overturned when I went to the University of Pittsburgh Balance Center years ago. Apparently both vestibular nerves were damaged in a car accident along with my TMJ being dislocated. TMJ disorder can also cause dizziness.

There is a big difference between dizziness and vertigo. If you have a sustained episode of vertigo, most likely you will find yourself on the floor vomiting and having uncontrolled bowel movements. I had a six-hour episode when I was very healthy and it is nothing I would wish on anyone.

There is also cervicogenic vertigo and that occurs when your neck is bent or you have an injury to your neck.

My suggestion is to see an ENT to get tested for benign positional vertigo. It's a simple test and, if that's the cause, a very easy maneuver can stop it.

Meclizine has an OTC form that is non sedating. I use it often. I used pure Meclizine when I had to sleep in an upright position in the bed.

I think many people with motor neuron diseases might be susceptible to dizziness and vertigo because of the weakened muscles in the neck and possibly even the jaw.

Let an ENT figure it out. I ended up going to a otoneurologist and he ran a bunch of tests to rule out benign positional. After that he sent me to Pittsburgh.
I had what you described your father has for months following a rather traumatic stair chair episode last winter. Long story short, I was stressing over something and decided to go upstairs and shower and on my way up my head sort of “went away “ as you described. Then I got so spastic out of fear I couldn’t move and was stuck at the top of the stairs for almost an hour until my husband got home.

After that episode, I started feeling strange in the head frequently, often while sitting with my head down, for example when reading. I also developed fears of going down ramps on my wheelchair and hills on my recumbent trike and got seized up with spasticity. I also couldn’t be in my wheelchair without being belted in or my head would get a strange feeling similar to dizziness.

My neurologist thought benign positional vertigo and prescribed Meclizine but it didn’t help. I then saw an ENT and he couldn’t find anything abnormal and said it was definitely not vertigo. Soon after that appointment it mostly went away and this coincided with a home improvements (a real shower downstairs) that was causing a lot of stress.

So I believe that my head issue was completely stress related. When I’m stressed I seize up with spasticity which effects balance, and I get a feeling of dizziness. Strangely, when I walk with my walker I usually feel fine.

Anyway, your dad might have something else going on but I thought I would share my experience. I’m finding that there are many strange side issues with this disorder that doctors don’t understand.
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