Labyrinthitis and Vertigo (BPPV): Hazel’s story | NHS

Labyrinthitis feels like You are on a fairground ride that you never wanted to get on in the first place That you are whizzing round and round It doesn’t matter whether your eyes are open or whether your eyes are shut you’re still whizzing round and round it makes you very nauseous Very dizzy, and you can’t get off it About eight months ago, I woke up one morning and I went to sit up on my elbows and I couldn’t even do that because the room was spinning and the whole room just looked like a Kaleidoscope going round and round around. Apparently It was because I had a cold the week before and apparently that’s classic. It went away but the virus lurked in the ear in the inner ear and caused all sorts of havoc. I’ve been given some exercises to do to retrain my brain to try and concentrate on What is right in front of me and so I have a checkered board with a letter in the middle of it that I have to focus on and then I stand with with my right foot slightly further forward than my left, or my left foot slightly further forward than my right and I focus on the letter in the middle and then moving my head like that for about ten seconds and then like that for about ten seconds, and I leave it here so that I make sure that I do it before I leave the house if I haven’t already done it. The other exercise I’ve been given to do at this stage is to walk up and down about 10 meters turning my head to the side as I do that not focusing on anything at all and the other one is to walk up and down the same area focusing on something in the distance, which is slightly more difficult. There will be days when you just feel like ‘why me?’ you know, am I ever going to get better, and you might just feel like curling up in a ball and doing nothing and at that point for me if I’m at home. I would probably just take 20 minutes go and sit down somewhere read a book and then get back on with life. I’m a music teacher I teach the violin this has meant that my coping strategies have been to teach and play with a mute on my violin and in the earlier days to wear an ear plug as well I have got back to orchestral playing as quickly as I possibly could although sometimes it has been quite overwhelming and thought process has been compromised on some occasions But I’m fairly normal now I’m and jolly well going to do it because that’s what I want to do. Now, I feel so much better I can walk in a straight line on my own obviously, I can get out and about, I’m back to my regular exercise routine and I can even ride my bike again which is fantastic, so I feel now that I’m regaining the independence that was just whipped away from me overnight. To those who are also suffering from labyrinthitis and BPPV I would say in my experience things will get better do be hopeful but in some respects you have to meet this head on. If you’re given exercises to do then do them because they will help. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I guess is what I might say


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