Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > TMJ Forum

floating feeling ?

I was diagnosed with TMJ about a year ago when I started having severe pain in my jaw and neck, as well as frequent feelings of lightheadedness. I was told by the DDS that dizziness can by caused by TMJ when there is pressure on the back of the ear, but I am not sure what all symptoms classify as "dizziness", and if what I am feeling is what that actually is.

The room doesn't spin, and I don't feel like anything is tilted, but I always feel like I am floating above my body and as if I am near fainting. I have terrible spatial distortion, and I have a difficult time judging the distances of things. If I look at my feet when I'm walking, I can feel them touching the ground, but I can't feel my legs attached to them (on the other hand, if I touch my legs with my hands, I can still feel it). It becomes particularly bad when there is pressure on my back--for example, if I am sitting in a car, or if I am exercising. I've never been drunk or high before, so I don't know if these are good examples of what I'm feeling, but I just feel completely detached from my body. Back when I was working 10-hour days and my TMJ was at its worst, it would be throbbing with pain, and if I put any pressure on the side of my jaw, the lightheaded feeling would come on strongly. However, the pain has greatly subsided and I don't have this sensation if I touch my face--the disconnected feeling just there all the time. Has anyone ever experienced this?

Another issue I have is that my eyes are extremely sensitive to everything, now. When the TMJ developed, my eyes became so red and irritated that I could no longer wear contacts. Now, my eyes are so sensitive to light that I can barely handle going out into the sun--it makes me feel like my brain is floating in a fog, or there's cotton balls stuffed in it, or something.

I've seen at least 8 different specialists at this point, and had numerous testing performed. All have come back normal. I thought it might be a pinched nerve--since these symptoms seem somewhat excessive for TMJ, but maybe I am wrong--but my neurologist said that it was unlikely. I haven't had an MRI yet, but I am wondering, does anyone else with TMJ have symptoms like these, or should I make another follow-up appointment with a neurologist (or well, I suppose I should do that anyway)?
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First Helper jackibretsch
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replied May 27th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
yeah i do----and hes right its ear pressure. the tmj is next to the trigeminal nerve so that effects your eyes as well. what specialists have you seen. i think that i may have a person that yo u could try ---if you are willing to give it a shot.Smile
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replied August 19th, 2008
floating
have you ever had an MRI of your head? It is possible you have a chiari malformation. You may want to look into that.
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replied October 7th, 2008
Chiari & Floating
I understand your frustration - mostly because I have lived ll of this. First of all I have had TMJ for years.... I have had all of the things you have. The floating is the worst especially since I have felt that since I was about 17... The short of this is - you really should go get an MRI - I found out that I had Chiari ( ACM ) this summer after months of INSANE symptoms... I had my decompression surgery a month ago and although not everything has gone away.. the legs not being attached still lingers. Depth is a problem, but more when I am outside. The Contact problem - redness - dryness - light sensitivity ALL were out of control this summer... After my surgery that has improved 95% With Chiari some people get so much pressure in their head that the eyes literally push out. Although, mine didn't push out they probably were pushed and irritated. If you didn't get an MRI yet - please do so! You will feel much better with something more than TMJ. By the way, my TMJ has greatly improved ( thus far ) since my surgery.... ( odd - but they are all related ! ) Good Luck to you - feel better.
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replied March 30th, 2010
hi
hi miona, i am experiencing the same, which started a month ago after a tooth extraction. do u feel better now? did u find the problem and the cure? god bless u.
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replied July 19th, 2010
You described it so well. Its as if my legs aren't attached to my body, or my hands.I feel as if my head could just drop off my shoulders. When I have a spell I feel like passing out. Weak in the knees. Slow motion, as if I'm in a daze and can't come out of it. This has been going on for awhile. I want normal again.
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replied August 20th, 2010
I get this floating feeling. after swimming. Sitting standing walking or laying down. I feel like I'm still floatinng on water. I even put my hands and arms out to try and stop the moving feeling. Feels as if your on a raft floating in the waves
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replied December 3rd, 2010
thats what I am going thru now and the doc don't know what is wrong except my BP is very low when I stand it drops and I almost pass out, turns foggy and have to sit down or go down, feel out of body floating, have neck pain, no jaw pain, had 5in. spinal cord cyst emoved three years ago, neuropathy both legs from spinal injury from needle put in spinal cord instead of spinal space before ruptured disc removed, doc just did echo of heart won't get results until 20th Dec. frustrating going to all those docs to be told don't know what the problem is. I'll contact ENT and have him check for TMJ and see if nerve is compressed, thanks Linda47
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replied December 5th, 2010
i've have the same thing going on for almost a year now and no specialist can find out whats wrong with me. soemtimes i think im going crazy but i do my best to live a normal life even though it is very difficult...good luck guys.. we need it
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replied March 13th, 2014
What you are describing sounds similar to what I experienced. I felt like when I moved my head I was under water and the motion felt weird.

This is caused by trigger points in the neck muscles which are used by the brain to calculate your position. When the feedback of these muscles aren't working properly the brain gets thrown off.

I think it is the SCM muscles.

I had many symptoms of trigger points in the head/neck. When I read up close the words jitter on the page as my eyes pan. That is a referal from the SCM to the orbicularis I think.

I had random stabbing pains in the head like electric shocks. I had constant tightness at base of the skull and when chewing. Chewing my jaw muscles feel fine, but my neck hurts.

All this can also be caused not by a true TMJ problem, but trigger points in the neck which can mimic some TMJ originated problems.

For example, the trapezius refers pain to the temples. This can then cause a cascade of trigger points in the jaw muscles.

The best treatment may be dry needling by a skilled physical therapist. You could also consider a dentist, but I can't be sure of the true origin of the problem in myself or your case. I tried a dentist for TMJ and decided to go the PT route for now.

This is an evolving treatment for trigger points. The equipment to precisely image the trigger points is still be worked on by two researchers at George Mason University.

If you go to a PT you have to rely on their experience without any imaging to pin-point the trigger points.
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