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Question:

Vertigo from Otitis media

Dear Ask The Doctor:
About three weeks ago I had a very bad bout of vertigo. It started at night and wouldn't stop. Whenever I would turn my head it would feel like the world was moving around me, and when I sat still it was still vaguely discomforting. When I woke the next morning it was still there so I went to the clinic. The doctor told me she saw a massive buildup of fluid in the ear and prescribed Patenase nasal spray to help. The intense vertigo ended the next day after lasting about 30 hours. However whenever I bend over or move my head I still get vertigo, only not as severe. Now I have developed a bad phlegmy cough (the phlegm is a bright yellow), a sore throat, and the vertigo is getting worse again. What is going on? Shouldn't the fluid have drained by now? Also, I can still pop both ears when I yawn so I don't understand how it is trapped fluid that is causing this problem. There is no fever to speak of (99.1) so I don't think it's an infection?


Answer:

The build up of fluid behind your ear is the most likely explanation of your vertigo. Though not very high, a temperature of 99.1 does suggest that there is an unresolved infective process.  It seems you have developed an infection in the ear (otitis media). You will require antibiotics for complete resolution. Once the infection and collection of fluid have resolved your vertigo should resolve as well.


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