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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31239
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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I have had a headache and balance problems days

Resolved Question:

I have had a headache and balance problems for several days now. The deterioration started last Tue after a very stressful day.
(I have CFS/ME. For the past 12 months I have been better with only few relatively "light" set backs usually induced by extended periods of either stress or sleep problems, or over-doing things, or a mix of the above.)
The balance problems started on Sat. While at kids' indoor play area I went on a bouncy air pillow thingy with the kids (for less than two minutes as it made me feel uncomfortble), and on getting off, I realised I was completely off balance, the floor and surroundings seemed to be wobbling (not spinning) and it felt like walking on jelly, and on sitting down the feeling lasted still for up to half an hour. Since then I have had problems with balance, when I walk more than a few steps the surroundings seem to "move" (again, no spinning sensation) and it feels like my body is leaning to one side (which it obviously isn't). This is also worse on leaning forward and any sideways movements. Additional info: I have had full days of the "spinning" sensation/vertigo over the past years, every few months or so, possibly due to labyrinthitis (as no other problem was found). However this sort of feeling and for this period is new.
In addition, since Sunday morning I have had a constant headache, which started as I was leaning forward/down while vacuuming. It started in the temples, and is now located in the temples, behing my eyes and the back of my head/neck. It also goes along with moderate sensitivity to light and noise, feeling slightly nauseous, and of course dizzy.
My main question is how can I get rid of the balance problems? And secondly also the headache, which I am guessing is connected to the balance issue? I have missed work because of it this week so I am very keen to get back to normal. I have been resting and taking ibuprofen/paracetamol, with no effect so far.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  DrRussMD replied 2 years ago.
Hello
You need an immediate exam, as this can represent serious causes.
Why have you not done so?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Firstly the answer hasn't actually answered anything. Secondly, from previous experience I was not happy with Dr Thomas's answer and attitude. Could I please have a neurologist answer the question. I can provide additional information if necessary.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

Hi. Let me see if I can help here. You should know that no neurologist has picked up on your question for the several days that it's been posted.

This sounds like a combination of a sinus infection and labyrinthitis, and possibly patulous or clogged Eustachian tubes also in the mix..

The first thing I'd tell you is that you shouldn't take any antihistamines or decongestants since those could actually make all this worse.

You can try either a Neti pot or a saline nasal irrigation system to see if that will take care of all this but if that doesn't work in a day or two you really should see a doctor since you'd likely need a course of antibiotics.

I'd also add that a headache and balance problems could also represent a leaking brain aneurysm--that doesn't sound like the case here but I think that is why Dr Thomas suggested the immediate exam

Please let me know if I can afford you any more information about all this

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I have not treated this with urgency as I have had headaches lasting several days (likely to be migraines) although these are mostly behind the eyes and back of head/neck area, and this headache has the added temple pain (both sides). I have assumed it is most likely from a mix of not enough sleep plus stress and neck pain (rather than sinusitis).

As for the balance issue, again as I have had dizziness problems before, I have not taken the issue too seriously, altough as I said, this is more a feeling like marbles rolling around in my head or walking on jelly rather than spinning (I should probably add that I do not walk "wonky" just feel as though I am), and have also assumed this could be due to stress/lack of sleep/neck problems. And of course irritation by the jumping on the "air pillow"/trampoline.

The interesting thing is that I was pain free yesterday, and also slightly less "wobbly"/dizzy, after a better night's sleep, and today again after a worse night the headache is back and so is the balance issue.

And as I have an MRI & neurologist appointment scheduled for next month anyway (re. confirmation of migraine with/without aura for the prupose of correct hormone therapy for PMS), I did not want to make a big issue and rush to a doctor. Hence my questions here.

So could my assumptions be correct? Or should I really try to see a doctor at the hospital tomorrow?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well if you include the neck pain then this could be a tension headache problem rather than a true migraine one. That alone, though, wouldn't account for the balance issue. I don't see any reason to rush to a doctor right now since it sounds as though all this may resolve itself soon
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31239
Experience: 20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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