MA is a patient of the Zephyrhills office of Gardner Audiology. He is a young man with Meniere’s disease. He came in a year and a half ago with complaints of tinnitus and hearing loss in one ear. He has history of violent vertigo and received treatment by a renowned neuro-otologist that left him with low frequency hearing loss in one ear. I fitted him with a hearing aid with tinnitus masking and he has done fairly well over the past year.
Last week he came in for a clean and check of his hearing aid. He shared that he had been having drop attacks of vertigo. He would be standing when the vertigo hit and he would wind up on the floor. The attacks were very severe. His life was so impacted by the attacks; he did not feel he could go on. He sought a second opinion and was evaluated at Tampa Bay Hearing and Balance. The physician ordered blood work that had not been done before. The result revealed a type of Herpes Simplex that is like shingles of the inner ear. He was started on an antiviral medication and saw almost immediate improvement.
A few years ago an ear doctor that I worked with went to a conference that discussed the testing and treatment. When he returned to the office he began routinely ordering the blood work on patients with dizziness and/or asymmetrical hearing loss. The number of positive blood tests that came back amazed me. He was able to treat the patients with the antiviral medication with positive improvements of symptoms.
It is often difficulty to pinpoint the cause of dizziness. Often the medical community treats the symptoms, rather than going after what is causing the attacks. If MA had not continued seeking a professional who would look further, he might never have found the relief he needed.