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julieph85

Try This And Tell Me What Happens

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Please don't think I'm a nut. I swear this happens and there has to be a reason for it. I've noticed that since I've had pots for the last 4 years that I cover one ear all the time. Especially when I need to concentrate like if I'm reading something or driving. I literally do it everyday and don't even realize it till I'm doing it. It is definitely some sort of coping mechanism to either over stimulation or hyperacuses. Anyway, I noticed it helps my dizziness a lot when I do it and I feel calmer. I'm assuming a lot of us get dizzy, short of breath when singing or talking because of the vagal stimulation. I know singing definitely makes me feel like I'm going to pass out. I noticed one day that if I cover one ear while singing I do not get those vagal symptoms at all. It's like if I plug an ear I don't have the Baro reflex hyper stimulation anymore. Try it and see if it helps you too. I really want to know why

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Yes! If you search "ears" or "vestibular" you'll find lots of past conversations about this. Dr. Yates has several published studies which show a direct connection between the vestibular and autonomic nervous systems. I even e-mailed him about the possible vestibular/POTS connection - unfortunately he did not respond. I then reached out to one of his colleagues who answered and gave me the standard POTS is a heterogeneous disorder, but if there was a researcher or medical professional interested he would speak to them. So many of us have this vestibular type of dizziness which is different from orthostatic lightheadedness. WHY.

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Ya know, when I used to drive more I always had to have the window open or I would get disoriented pretty quick. Rain, shine, snow, or sleet, I had the window open. It felt like it grounded me somehow. It sounds like it could be along similar lines as covering your ear.

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Back when I was trying to get my POTS diagnosis, the docs sent me to an ENT for my dizziness. They did an objective test on me where they put electrodes on my face and had me look at a letter on the wall. Then they had me move my head side to side in a "no" fashion with gradual increase in speed. For me the letter started moving. They told me this was abnormal, the letter should not move. They then printed out the data and I fell way below the confidence interval - they told me my eyes and ears weren't coordinated. Basically the therapy they prescribed for me to do was called vestibular rehabilitation therapy. Go figure. I did it for a while. But my insurance wouldn't cover me being retested, so I have no idea if that ever got fixed or not.

I bet if they tested many POTS patients with this they'd find they have their eyes/ears uncoordinated.

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I often put cotton in my right ear - dampening noise or even blocking a cold wind draft seems to help with symptoms. I also often cover my right ear and find that I preferentially rotate my neck to "listen" with my left ear only when I have to pay attention to something. especially if there is a lot going on in a room (not necessarily noise but "action") although my hearing has been tested and is fine in both ears.

Before getting diagnosed with POTS I was worked up by ENT who thought I was having vestibular migraines and I have visual vertigo. My brain relies more heavily on visual input than inner ear - so, for example, when windows open and close on a computer screen, I have the sensation that I am actually moving. My vestibular input does not counter the conflicting images from my eyes. The ENT explained the visual vertigo by your brain stops relying on vestibular because for some reason is does not think it is reliable. You know that feeling most people get when 2 trains are side by side and the other starts moving and you are not sure if you are going backwards....I have that sense in varying degrees all the time.

SO..the way I look at it now is that I have both vestibular and autonomic dysfunction.

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I get severe symptoms (dizzyness, tunnel vision, fainting) in situations where my ears "pop" such as driving on hills, elevators, swimming deep into a swimming pool, carnival rides etc. I know some of this could be related to rapid changes in elevation, but even driving on small hills where my ears just "pop" slightly it happens. I wonder if this is a similar concept?

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I've got Auditory Processing Disorder, which is a neurological disorder. I have definite preferences in terms of which side sound comes from, that sort of thing, and I find it much easier to use the phone on speakerphone than to hold it up to my ear.

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Batik -

Very interesting! I have often noticed that talking on the phone is a trigger for dizziness but I thought it may be related to my neck position. How were you diagnosed with an Auditory Processing Disorder?

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Batik...

Also, I find it extremely difficult to stay tuned in to a conversation I am having with an individual when there are other conversations within earshot (eg a lunch table) I have to actually mentally tell myself "keep listening keep listening" but it is as if the speaker I am trying to tune into has "faded" and all I can hear is the other conversation, even if it is less interesting! I physically cover my right ear, turn my left ear towards the speaker I am trying to focus on and find this helps. Is that typical for you?

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I have hyperacusis and noise can definitely set off my presyncopal symptoms. I can't drive with the windows open as the noise becomes very disorienting for me. I have never covered my ears/ear to help but I don't think you're nuts at all. I have been to the ENT for full evals twice now and other than having the greatest hearing test they've ever seen (yay me :-( ), they most recently have pushed off all my unexplained symptoms on my migraine syndrome. Whatever the source is, it's very annoying.

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Katybug, sane exact thing with me. The ENT says I definitely have off the charts hearing acuity with above normal hearing ability. I'm assuming I have hyperacuses because normal noise bothers me tremendously and even the TV set at the lowest possible volume is way too loud for me. That never happened before I had pots. I def think I am covering the ear that is getting whatever environmental sound is bothering me the loudest. What I don't understand is why it makes my baroreceptor hypersensitivity better.

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Batik...

Also, I find it extremely difficult to stay tuned in to a conversation I am having with an individual when there are other conversations within earshot (eg a lunch table) I have to actually mentally tell myself "keep listening keep listening" but it is as if the speaker I am trying to tune into has "faded" and all I can hear is the other conversation, even if it is less interesting! I physically cover my right ear, turn my left ear towards the speaker I am trying to focus on and find this helps. Is that typical for you?

Hi Batik and Julie, Hope and all,

Julie, I'm going to try covering one ear to see what happens.

I can't often can't 'hear' what is being said to me by one person when there are others talking in the room. It drives my family nuts that they have to repeat themselves. Yet, acute sensitivity to noise -- just someone talking or tv on low -- when I have a severe migraine is torture. A lot of noise, or just a few noisy people in a room will sometimes trigger a severe migraine as does a lot of movement around me, especially that I see in my periphery vision.

If I'm in a busy café I can't hear anyone talking at my table and so end up not participating in the conversation. Yet there is nothing wrong with my hearing. My oldest son, having damaged his ears playing loud guitar in his younger years, is now very hard of hearing and when he talks to me he talks very loudly as hearing impaired people often, do and I find that I'm wincing a lot of the time. I've told him he needs to go to a speech therapist to learn to lower his voice but seems he'd rather subject us all to his shouting. My hubby is hard of hearing and 'mishears' me all the time and accuses me of 'mumbling and whispering.' Needless to say I talk to him as little as I can now because my pots does not allow me to shout to be heard -- I can't shout or sing anymore. Shouting will bring on pots symptoms and I just don't seem to have enough breath to sing.

I get balance disorders -- sense of vertigo -- with some of my migraines. This is becoming more common.

Like Hope, I have to wind down my window to drive no matter what the weather in order to be able to concentrate on the road. I felt it was 'just me' until Hope mentioned her need to drive with window down.

blue

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Julie,

This is just my somewhat educated guess....since the noise (for me) seems to set off my fight/flight/sympathetic system, anything that reduces the noise makes things better. So, I would think covering even one ear to reduce the sensory input into your sympathetic response would help. Again, I have no facts to back that up. :-)

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I do this ALL the time. especially anytime I'm trying to concentrate on reading something. I've done it ever since I was little though. I more think it's a coping mechanism for our "type" not necessarily something physically wrong with the inner ear. But I did have tubes in my ears when I was little so who knows. But I think its more along the lines of people with ADD and playing Video games and i guess on the way way extreme spectrum autistic's and over-stimulation. Not saying its exactly like that of course but I think it's more in that ballpark. just a thought.

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Very interesting! I've recently come down with pots (I think) following a series of viruses, or maybe the same virus, that I couldn't shake. But the dizziness and nausea weren't exactly new features for me, because I've suffered from ear-induced vertigo spells since I was fourteen. Basically every time I'd get sick and have mucus.

When I was twelve I had a terrible ear infection, and apparently my ear drum should have burst but didn't because it's too thick. My right ear felt blocked for years after that and I think it may have wrought some damage. The only new sensations I've had with pots have been the heart rate, pains and adrenaline stuff; vertigo made me fall over many times and completely drained my body to the point I could barely move. And I have noticed that sometimes my pots dizziness feels distinctly vertigo-ish, as in it gets worse when I move my head and can go with weird ear feelings. I wish most doctors understood the nervous system better.

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I have been deaf on one side since I was about 5 (from the mumps) so I don't actually have to cover one ear, lol but I can relate to the ear stuff. At the beginning of being sick I was sent to an ENT who diagnosed me with extremely sensitive ears (duh, I knew that) and gave me balance exercises to try to help with the dizziness. At this time I was battling daily vertigo and had a previous diagnosis of BPPV. Changes in elevation really mess me up, even elevators...we stayed on the 25th floor a couple of years ago and I could barely walk most of the weekend due to the dizziness. Anything more than a couple floors and I am doomed.

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Ha ha...I got the "dizziness" exercises too. They did absolutely nothing for me. I this.k the doctors really have no idea how to connect the dots between my balance, dizziness, hyperacusis, inflammatory problems. It doesn't fit into the usual box so they're throwing their hands up. When I told the ENT this most recent go round that the balance exercises didn't help me at all (documented by the PT who specializes in rehabbing balance patients and who referred me to the ENT) her response was "do them again ".

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