Do I need to go to the doctor because of a few moments of intense vertigo? I mean, is it an early sign of a brain tumor? Or is it a symptom of something that's going to go away on its own? Anyone have comments on the seriousness of balance loss as a symptom?
I have an appointment later today, and I'd rather cancel it because work is busy. That said, I actually have two friends-of-friends who got diagnosed with brain tumors, so I'm not screwing around with weird symptoms.
The basic symptom is vertigo. There have been three distinct moments, each time when I was walking and turning my head. The first time, I thought it may have been an earthquake. It was that kind of "whoa, what was that? did the earth just move?" sensation. It wasn't like the earth was spinning; it was more like the floor moved or like the elevator unexpectedly dropped nine inches. It was very real for a split second, and then ended. Beyond that, I've had a little dizziness and light-headedness. Beyond that, I'm basically healthy. (I might be getting a cold? Throat a little scratchy? Co-worker had a major cough last week? Minor headache that is unusual for me, but which I attribute to fighting off that cough. No numbess, difficulty moving, vision or hearing loss.)
The doctor on call said "balance is an inner ear thing. It could be a drop of water in your ear that got all the way in there, or some sort of inner ear virus. It could come and go the rest of your life, or it could be a one-time thing." He laughed off my fear that it was a brain tumor caused by my years of frequent cell phone use.
Then I came home and googled cell phone brain tumor symptoms, and the first few results include this article
Researchers at the Department of Oncology, University Hospital in Sweden reviewed sixteen published studies that looked at cell phone use and the rate of brain cancers. They concluded that: "For both acoustic neuroma and glioma (two types of brain cancer), overall risk was increased in the whole group...."
Acoustic neuromas, also called schwannomas, are a non-cancerous tumor that develops on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. The tumor usually grows slowly. As it grows, it presses against the nerves responsible for hearing and balance. Radiosurgery is usually the standard treatment.
I am the anxious type, but I don't have a history of hypochondria. I've seen the doctor maybe two times in the last two years? I didn't go looking for this article by googling "balance vertigo cell phone tumor." I just tried to find out what are the symptoms of tumors, particularly of the tumors related to unsafe cell phone use.
But I'd be happy to learn it's likely nothing, in which case I want to cancel this appointment. If this is likely nothing, I don't want to leave work today. If it may be something serious, particularly something that will only be detectable now before it goes back into a symptom-free state somehow, I want to catch that thing early (or rule it out). If I go in and they take my blood pressure, laugh at my worst-case scenario, say "oh it's probably nothing, call us in two weeks if it keeps happening," and send me home, I'm going to be really annoyed that I didn't just wait and call them in two weeks.
So, does anyone have enough knowledge about this topic to advise me about whether I should go? And if I do go and they just laugh off the idea that it's worth investigating, is there something I could do or say to encourage them to actually consider the possibilities that made it worth the trip?
I know all advice comes with the disclaimer that YANMD and that this is the internet.