What's My Illness? Testing the Hivemind.
February 27, 2007 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Yes, I'm seeing a doctor in about 1 hour. But I wanted to test out the hive mind. I always wanted to do this. A few times a day, my eyes have trouble correctly aiming at things. If I'm trying to look at something they'll overshoot and I'll get a dizzy for a second. Or it might be the other way around with the dizziness coming first.... a better description inside.

Since Saturday, I've had this problem with my eyes. I'll turn my head and shift my eyes to look at something. My eyes will overshoot and I'll be dizzy for less than a second. Not enough to make me fall down but enough to make me pause. Another way to describe it would be like the headrush and dizziness you get when quickly jump out of bed in the morning. During the weekend, it never happened more than 4 times so I attributed it to being tired and partying with some visiting friends.

Today, I've got the same symptoms and I found that walking at a brisk pace will make me want to puke. What I consider a slow stroll won't.

So what is everyone's thoughts? I'm male and 31. No fever, and I'm not tired. I'm hungry but that's because I only ate a few slices of bread because of potential vomiting.

I'll post what the general doctor says and compare.
posted by Cog to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Your general practioner will probably recommend that you make an appointment with an optometrist... The symptoms you're describing are common with astigmatism (although I've never heard of the symptoms coming on all of a sudden). If you already wear corrective lenses, maybe you need a prescription change.
posted by amyms at 1:42 PM on February 27, 2007

Only time I've experienced this was due to starting, stopping, or skipping a day of my antidepressants (Effexor). I assume this has nothing to do with it, or you would've made mention.
posted by Kloryne at 1:46 PM on February 27, 2007

Oops, I gave you the wrong astigmatism link in my comment up there... This is the correct one.
posted by amyms at 2:00 PM on February 27, 2007

But you will tell us what's going one, once you find out, right?
posted by Sassyfras at 2:02 PM on February 27, 2007

** I meant, "what's going on," not "one."
posted by Sassyfras at 2:08 PM on February 27, 2007

These symptoms sound like vertigo, which is just a medical word for "dizziness and nausea". I'm glad that you're visiting a doctor, because vertigo may be a sign of anything or nothing.
posted by muddgirl at 2:10 PM on February 27, 2007

This has happened to me before in periods of intense sleep deprivation and stress. If your doctor has a word for it, I want to know what that word is.
posted by crinklebat at 2:10 PM on February 27, 2007

posted by chudder at 2:46 PM on February 27, 2007

Perhaps hyperthyroidism? From a list of signs and symptoms:

My eyes get jumpy/tics in eyes, which makes me dizzy/vertigo and have headaches

I have vertigo

My skin looks or feels thinner

I include the last because you mentioned once that your skin cuts easily. You've also previously said you are slender and do not gain weight easily.
posted by jamjam at 2:58 PM on February 27, 2007

I vote for some sort of inner ear problem. No links or anything particularly useful, since you're probably at the doctor's while I'm typing this.
posted by CKmtl at 3:24 PM on February 27, 2007

Haven't read any of the comments yet, on purpose. I wanted this to be a blind test to see if the hivemind could get it right.

Came back from the family doctor. He gave me the name of an eye specialist and I've got an appointment with him tomorrow morning. The family doctor did, however, discover an unrelated bacterial infection. Inflammation in my throat is causing me to dry heave since my uvula is basically now completely resting on my tongue. And the nodes under my jaw are not happy either. So despite the dizziness, the vomiting is unrelated.
posted by Cog at 4:12 PM on February 27, 2007

Nystagmus is right. It's a "sign", that is, a symptom of a some other medical problem. IANYD and hopefully a smart neurologist will chime in, but the most common cause of this I see is viral infection of the inner ear. When you turn your head in space, your eyes need to coordinate with the motion detectors in your inner ear, otherwise you'd never be able to focus on anything. Sounds like something messed this whole mechanism up, common things being common, and this being cold and flu season, it's probably the pressure in your inner ear.

Of course, there are all kinds of other things that could be going on ranging from a stroke to autoimmune disease, to a tumor, to ear wax (seriously). So it's good that you had someone take a look at you. I am curious what the working diagnosis is that sent you to an eye doctor...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:19 PM on February 27, 2007

My wife had a modest illness called Menieres (sp?) disease. This is an inner ear infection that includes;
- nausea if moving too fast - many times, and with what could only be described as "vigor".
- inability to change focus
- extreme random bouts of dizzyness that could include falling down

If I recall, (it has been some time since she had a bout) her doctor gave her antibiotics, and told her that time would reduce the severity of the symptoms. She got over it in about 3 months (I really can't recall if she took the antibiotics though)

I REALLY hope you don't have this. It is not a severe disease, but it does suck.

Good luck.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 4:38 PM on February 27, 2007

Ack. I am not a doctor. I have no right to tell you that it is not a severe disease. Your doctor will tell you the truth about this, not some random dweeb on the internet.

Should have said "it was not a severe disease FOR HER".

Posting without thinking. My apologies.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 4:40 PM on February 27, 2007

im going with vertigo. my mom has those symptoms and was just diagnosed with vertigo 2 weeks ago.
posted by fumbducker at 4:53 PM on February 27, 2007

I was going to say what Slarty Bartfast did. I had similar symptoms a few years back, which was a problem since I was a figure skater at the time, and vertigo whenever you turn or spin isn't very good for a skater. It started shortly after a case of the flu, so I guess the theory is that it was a viral infection in the inner ear. My symptoms lasted around nine months and went away on their own very quickly once they started to go away. I still have some remaining inner-ear issues, though, that act up when I am tired or in the dark.
posted by litlnemo at 5:18 PM on February 27, 2007

Vertigo (which this sounds a little like) can be a symptom of low blood pressure.

(I'd suggest smoking for the next 20 years if so, save for the fact that it didn't raise mine a jot.)
posted by genghis at 5:20 PM on February 27, 2007

I had a wicked case of Labyrinthitis a few years ago which came with a horrible side of vertigo and landed me on my back for two weeks (to start, I still get vertigo in some situations). It doesn't sound quite like the same thing as I believe Labyrinthitis tends to come on very quickly and when I had it I couldn't have imagined being in front of a computer (I couldn't move my head or even open my eyes without a bad case of the heaves - you know what? Being alone with your thoughts for two weeks did teach me that I'm really dull company). But just in case... you have my sympathies. That dizzy feeling sucks and I hope your case is solved with some new glasses.
posted by marylynn at 5:51 PM on February 27, 2007

I had similar symptoms, two separate times in the past year. The first time, I got sent to an eye doctor who said everything was fine, and then I went on my own to an ENT who said it was probably an inner ear infection. The second time, I went to the same ENT and she diagnosed me with Benign Positional Vertigo. The theory goes that you get calcium deposits built up in your inner ear, and if they get loose, they can shake around against the hairs that manage your balance, and make everything out of whack. She then performed something called "The Epley Maneuver" , which supposedly re-positions the calcium buildups so they won't interfere.

I recognize that sounds totally silly / crazy, but after having severe dizziness for about two weeks, I felt better almost immediately after she performed this maneuver. If the eye doctor can't fix it, find an ENT who believes in using the Epley; some of them still think it's mumbo-jumbo, but it worked for me.
posted by one_bean at 8:22 PM on February 27, 2007

I fucking love the Epley Maneuver.

I still want to know what the eye connection is, email is in my profile.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:35 PM on February 27, 2007

I had this diagnosed a few years ago - exactly the same symptoms. Eye stress from sitting in front of shitty monitor for too long. That was it. I fully recovered after taking a short break.
posted by strawberryviagra at 1:38 AM on February 28, 2007

If it is shitty-monitor related, it might not be the shittiness of the monitor so much as shittiness in its positioning. Most people's monitors are too low unless they've paid attention to this. The top of the screen should be at your eye level.
posted by flabdablet at 4:52 AM on February 28, 2007

Saw the eye specialist this morning. None of this tests indicated any problems so he tentatively said it was eye fatigue. He said that it typically occurs with children, where fatigue will cause one or both eyes to shift to the side. But it can happen to adults. I was told go to get some rest and see if it goes away. If it continues or I get an episode that lasts a few minutes or more, then I should go back to him. Then we'd have to do some brain imaging.

He also said to limit my use on computers for a while so I'm off to bed soon.

Oh, and about suggested the inner ear problems, my family doctor did look both ears but didn't mention anything about them. I sort of made the assumption that he could see an inner problem, but now that I really think about it, I have no idea.
posted by Cog at 9:16 PM on February 28, 2007

one_bean, the general consensus today is that the Epley maneuver can be both diagnostic and therapeutic for BPPV (the extra "P" is for paroxysmal).

Whereas things may have been different in years past, today I would be weary of the doctor who does not "believe" in it.
posted by stomicron at 7:06 AM on March 1, 2007

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