I can't walk straight or hear over the ringing.
May 23, 2012 10:35 PM Subscribe
I've been experiencing some troubling symptoms with increasing frequency and severity, namely vertigo and tinnitus. They're affecting daily life to such an extent that I know something needs to be done. What kind of doctor should I visit, and can these symptoms be alleviated in the meantime?
Occasionally, I'll be reading or otherwise going about my daily life only to be struck with sudden vertigo. Everything is spinning and I can't walk in a straight line when this happens. It's exacerbated by tilting my head. It's happened while I was driving once, but subsided just before I was about to pull over.
The vertigo always coincides with the times when my left ear is ringing (always the left ear) and has been for a few days. The sound is deafening, remains at one frequency, and is constant for days on end. This happens a couple of times a month, but used to be more rare. I can't hear well with the left ear when this happens, and what I do hear is kind of muffled or garbled. Music sounds off-key.
Basic health stuff: blood pressure, weight, etc are fine. I get plenty of water and sleep. I'm 20 and female. I wear a mouth guard at night for TMJ problems, but haven't had any troubles with that lately. I take Aleve for a few days (2 pills a day) each month for menstrual cramps, but don't take anything else on a regular basis.
The constant ringing is very distracting and I'm tired of asking people to repeat everything they say. Even worse, I'm concerned about getting vertigo while driving again. I regularly drive 1-2 hours and want to do so as safely as possible.
So, GP or a specialist? What can I do to fix this?