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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19434
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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For about 3 months I noticed problems with balance and some

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For about 3 months I noticed problems with balance and some unsteadiness in my legs. Ears feel full and I try clearing by blowing while holding my nose - sometimes it helps.
Very occasionally I have a sudden dizzy spell almost like going to faint which I have never done. being on computer for only 15 minutes seems to aggravate it.
Neck feels sore and stiff (may not be connected as I have arthritis in top of spine)
On one occasion lost focus while watching TV and everything appeared to be moving around.
GP has prescribed Betahystine dyhradchloride but I'm not sure they help very much.
Hello from JustAnswer.
It will help if you could provide some further information.
Do you have the ability to check your blood pressure at home?
If so, have you checked your blood pressure during these episodes, particularly the episodes when you feel like you are going to faint?
Are you taking any chronic medicines for other medical problems?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not able to check my BP at home but recently had a routine check.

For over 10 years my BP has been controlled satisfactorily with tablets. Usually about 140/75. Last week slightly up 150/90 but not surprising as I am tense because of the balance problem.

Only taking the medicines already described.

What tablets are you taking that are satisfactorily controlling the blood pressure?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Co-tenidone 50mg/12.5 daily.

Also take Lansoprazole 30mg. daily for hiatus hernia and chronic indigestion.

Thank you for the additional information.

I ask these question for a couple reason. Although the symptoms that you describe are extremely more likely due to ear disease, when someone says that they feel like they are going to faint, it raises a question of whether the blood pressure is getting too low at times. With the blood pressures that you describe, this would be less likely, but ideally, it would be good to check the blood pressure when the person is feeling faint.

Regarding the ears, the fullness in the ears is most often seen from chronic inflammation in the ear, most often from allergies, although there are other possible causes, such as vasomotor rhinitis. The symptoms are also suggestive of Eustachian tube dysfunction, which also can be related to chronic inflammation and allergies.

Chronic dizziness can also be due to a couple of other common problems, including BPPV, which is due to crystals forming in the inner ear, and Meniere’s disease, which is due to fluid accumulation in the inner ear. Head exercises are usually done to try to help with BPPV, while diuretics are usually used for treatment of Meniere’s disease. One of the reasons that I asked what medicines you are taking is that many people are taking a diuretic for other reasons, including one of the components of the Co-tenidone.

There are several interventions that can be done at this point. The betahistine is one of the usual first-line medicines used to help with dizziness due to ear disease. There are some other similar medicines that are available over the counter, such as meclizine. These other medicines work similarly to the betahistine; it is not that one is better than the other overall, but different people may find that one drug works better than another for them.

It also may help to perform different Eustachian tube exercises. You have been trying one type of exercise by blowing while holding the nose. There are some other exercises that can be tried, including forced yawning, chewing on gum, blowing up a balloon, or drinking fluids through a straw, preferably a narrow straw or a thicker liquid (or both).

Other interventions would be to use a nasal spray of steroids, which is available over the counter in some countries, but requires a prescription in many countries. It may help to irrigate the nose and sinuses with warm salt water, such as with a NetiPot.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Dr. D. Love and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. As I had BVP about 2 years ago I knew it wasn't that as I haven't had the spinning sensation.

I will try the exercises you have suggested but also wondered if it could be labrynthitis? I don't like to keep going to the GP, who is very good, but I now worry about going out which I don't want to become chronic. If it is an ear infection would antibiotics help?

This is not typical for labyrinthitis. Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the inner ear, which usually does not cause the fullness in the ear that you describe and usually does not persist for 3 months. Labyrinthitis is the most common cause of dizziness that has been present for a week or so, but it usually resolves relatively quickly. It is possible, but it is less likely. It is more likely to be due to the problems noted above.

Someone with persistent dizziness and ear symptoms may need referral to an ENT specialist.