Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Vision distortion, anxiety, vertigo - causes??

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 10 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 9, 2008
  • 06:12 PM

I have had this "swirly" distortion in my side vision (in one eye) for about 4 months now. I've seen it every single day but it comes and goes - it's not constant. When I say "swirly" it's similar to the effect you get if you close your eyes and then press on your eyelid and hold it for a few seconds. It's a swirly, liquid-movement type of distortion. There are no bright lights or "sparks" shooting from that area and it's not floaters.

I've gone to two eye doctors. They told me it's not an ocular migraine, because the distortion is in the same place all the time. I've had a couple episodes of migraines in the past where you get that cracked prism of light in your vision and this isn't like that.

One doctor said it might be that the jelly in my eye is thickening and tugging slightly on my retina, but when both of the doctors checked my eye they said it's completely healthy. I was just told to come back in a month for another checkup in case it is the beginning of a retinal tear. If the problem isn't in my eye...what's causing this? My brain?

The other odd thing that started a few months before the eye thing is chronic anxiety, depression and paranoia for no apparent reason. I'm a 39 year old housewife, my kids are in school, I don't work, I have no issues in my life, nothing at all to be stressed about. No reason for this to be happening.

I feel like my brain is malfunctioning. I wake up in the middle of the night (many nights a week) with my pulse racing - sometimes it's a full panic attack. On three occassions I even thought I heard people say things that they couldn't have possibly said! Can you believe it? I'm hearing things! I know that sounds crazy, but believe me, I'm not imaging these things. Something seems wrong.

The last thing is that I also have very quick moments of being dizzy. It happens so fast I'm not sure if my head actually moves, but I get the sensation of my head jerking and making me dizzy. But it happens so quick and then it's gone. I also have a full feeling in my sinuses. Can allergies make you dizzy? Although I don't have any other allergy symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, etc.

I'm seeing a psychiatrist for the anxiety and an eye doctor for the visual thing, but should I be going to a primary care doctor too in case these things are related? Or should I just wait it out?

Any suggestions?

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10 Replies:

  • Do you use aspartame-diet drinks etc?Have you seen a neurologist and had an mri?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 10, 2008
    • 03:38 AM
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  • I haven't seen a neurologist or had am MRI. Can you just make an appointment with a neurologist or do you have to be referred to one?I drink diet Coke (which contains aspartame). I'm not a big drinker of them though....one or two a day. I don't drink much of anything actually. My fluid consumption in a day is probably less than 32 ounces. How do you think aspartame would play into this? The depression/anxiety or the visual thing?By the way, thanks for replying! :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 11, 2008
    • 11:07 PM
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  • Consider a hormonal cause. At around 39 progesterone production starts to slow down producing anxiety and depression and problems sleeping. Look into natural progesterone(otc) to supplement. There's a lot on the internet about this. As for the vision issue, I have no clue, but the hormones are all interconnected so something might be going on with them.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 12, 2008
    • 10:40 PM
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  • Oh, and get your thyroid checked - a hyperthyroid could cause all of these symptoms as well (again, hormonal)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 12, 2008
    • 10:42 PM
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  • I haven't seen a neurologist or had am MRI. Can you just make an appointment with a neurologist or do you have to be referred to one?I drink diet Coke (which contains aspartame). I'm not a big drinker of them though....one or two a day. I don't drink much of anything actually. My fluid consumption in a day is probably less than 32 ounces. How do you think aspartame would play into this? The depression/anxiety or the visual thing?By the way, thanks for replying! :)The aspartame consumption could definitely be a possible cause of both the depression/anxiety and the visual symptoms.I think it would be a good idea to stop drinking and/or eating products with it in them and seeing if it makes a difference in your symptoms.Here a some links outline the symptoms of aspartame toxicity:www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/adverse.txtwww.mercola.com/article/aspartame/dangers.htmwww.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 13, 2008
    • 06:30 PM
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  • You are only drinking four glasses of fluid a day? Get re-hydrated and some of the symptoms might go away.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies
    • January 15, 2008
    • 11:42 AM
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  • Hello,I was wondering if you got any better or did you find out what was causing the problems?I found it very interesting that you have these symptoms: chronic anxiety, depression and paranoia for no apparent reason. as you said: "I have no issues in my life, nothing at all to be stressed about." You also said "I get the sensation of my head jerking and making me dizzy" Is it like an electric jolt through your brain? I know it probably sounds a bit odd? but, I believe I had similar symptoms when I was younger. I never told anyone about them as I was worried about what I might of been diagnosed with!? The symptoms, for me, went away with time. But still I have anxiety when in social situations. I do hope you are better now as its been 10 months since your first post. I know the feeling of "What is wrong with my mind or brain!?" When you don't have any stress in the first place.Best WishesBen
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 15, 2008
    • 03:25 AM
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  • Hello,I was wondering if you got any better or did you find out what was causing the problems?I found it very interesting that you have these symptoms: chronic anxiety, depression and paranoia for no apparent reason. as you said: "I have no issues in my life, nothing at all to be stressed about" You also said: "I get the sensation of my head jerking and making me dizzy" Is it like an electric jolt through your brain? I know it probably sounds a bit odd? but, I believe I had similar symptoms when I was younger. I never told anyone about them as I was worried about what I might of been diagnosed with!? The symptoms, for me, went away with time. But, I was never the same again after the paranoia. I do hope you are better now as its been nine months since your last post. I know that feeling of 'What is wrong with me?' or even worse 'my mind or brain!?', when you don't have any stress in the first place.Best WishesBen
    Benjamin_Taylor 1 Replies
    • October 15, 2008
    • 03:47 AM
    • 0
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  • Dear annonymous,Your post was one+ year ago, and I hope you have corrected the problems you described and that you are now feeling great. However, since I have had some very similar symptoms to yours, I'll tell you what I've discovered.A little over 20 years ago, I began to have almost identical symptoms to those you describe:-- "swirly" distortion in my side vision-- chronic anxiety, depression and paranoia for no apparent reason-- felt like my brain wass malfunctioning...wake up in the middle of the night (many nights a week) with pulse racing - sometimes it's a full panic attack-- very quick moments of being dizzyI also find it interesting that you say you are (were at the time you posted) 39 years old, because I was 41 years old at the time my symptoms suddenly started. Also, like you, I was happy with the circumstances with my life. I'm starting off with this statement because in addition to all the wonderful doctors who have helped me solve this, I consulted with a few "turkey" doctors who wanted to write me off as "neurotic" and send me to psychiatry. I did undergo psychotherapy, but I didn't get any help there, and I couldn't understand how I had been a consistently happy person for 41 years, and, then, suddenly, to begin having panic attacks, depression, etc., when no circumstances has changed.Over a lot of time, and with the help of a lot of good doctors, and a lot of research in the medical school library, I believe (and the success of the treatments indicates) that my problems resulted from three things:-- thyroid problems-- perimenopause-- migraine(Fauve, you were pretty right on!)I have Hashimoto's Disease, which is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks and eventually destroys the thyroid gland. I am in the small percentage (around 10%) of Hashimoto's patients who run HYPERthyroid before becoming HYPOthyroid. I consulted a number of doctors before my Hashimoto's was diagnosed, but when a good endocrinologist began treating me for Hashimoto's, my symptoms began to diminish. If you think thyroid could be playing a role in your misery, I would strongly recommend reading some of Mary Shamon's information at: http://thyroid.about.com/ Mary has excellent information about thyroid problems, about the difficulty many of us have in finding doctors who can accurately diagnose and treat thyroid problems, and assistance to find the good thyroid doctors.Getting my thyroid levels to normal helped immensely, but still I wasn't back to 100% normal. Then, I discovered that I was in perimenopause, and, yes, Fauve is correct that lowered progresterone can produce anxiety--progesterone works with the calming neurotransmitters, and when progesterone diminishes, some women begin to have anxiety problems. (Why all women don't have anxiety as progesterone levels drop isn't understood.) My wonderful gynecologist helped me to get a good progesterone replacement, and I felt better yet--but still not 100%.My grandmother and my mother were migrainers, and although I had a few, minor migraines in my early years, I thought I had escaped the family migraines. Wrong! I hadn't escaped the migraines; they just didn't start until my estrogen began to diminish--right around age 41. The "quick moments of being dizzy" are completely associated with migraines for me, and a migraine attack will frequently be comprised of much more dizziness, anxiety, mental confusion, and visual disturbances than outright headache and vomiting. As my estrogen levels lowered, I became frequently "migrainish", i.e., having dizziness, anxiety, depression, and "scrambled brains" even when I wasn't having a classical migraine, i.e., headache, visual disturbances. The solution: estrogen replacement and prophylatic migraine medication.With correct thyroid levels, correct progresterone levels, estrogen and prophylactic migraine medication, I feel NORMAL!
    siobhan 2 Replies
    • January 25, 2009
    • 09:22 PM
    • 0
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  • how are these for symptoms- I alternate from feeling the urge to sneeze and puke. Never sure which I am going to do. Thankfully haven't barfed. BUT get wicked vertigo and light headed. Been going on off and on for weeks now. Sigh
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 18, 2010
    • 04:22 PM
    • 0
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