Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Forum

Undiagnosed: Brain fog, dizziness, unbalanced, light sensitivity

Good day, everyone! I apologize in advance if this is too long for you to keep your attention (I could hardly keep focus while writing it), but I'm absolutely miserable and would be eternally grateful for any help.

I'm a 28 year old female that has always been in great health. I was always super energetic and active, always ate clean and healthy (aside from delicious beer), and was mentally healthy and stable as well.

I moved from Arizona to Washington in January of 2013. In March of 2013, I went to an MD because of a significant ear infection. He prescribed me amoxicillin, which caused me to break out in a rash after the seventh day of taking it. He informed me that the ear infection was gone, and to discontinue taking the amoxicillin. Ever since then, my symptoms have been....

-Brain fog - I feel as if I'm stoned all day every day (and it's not fun). My cognitive function has definitely decreased, though not exponentially. I find myself in deep stares (not deep enough to where I am not aware of my surroundings, though), and I have issues with concentration.

- Dizziness - Not vertigo, but a complete unbalanced feeling. I cannot even walk around without feeling like I'm going to faint.

-Presyncope - Or near-fainting. I've never actually fainted. I will get super dizzy to the point where I feel woozy/lightheaded, but the feeling goes away after sitting for a few moments and focusing on breathing.

-Upper left quadrant pain in my abdomen - It manifests when it feels like it... It's not always present, and I can never pinpoint exactly what it is that brings it on.

-Light sensitivity - Oh, man, do I hate lights! They intensify my symptoms a million times! Okay, maybe not a million. I have to wear these hideous rose colored lenses in my glasses, and I don't even need a spectacle prescription! I have 20/10- vision in my right eye and 20/15 in my left eye, but the lights are killer.

-HUNGER - I'm staaaaaarving! My blood sugar is always normal, and I don't want sugar anyway (it's not hypoglycemia). I want real food - meats and cheeses and veggies! I'm almost never satisfied. I never eat sugary foods (I even stay away from most fruit), and I rarely eat carbs. I DO have a gluten intolerance, so when I allow myself to eat grains, it's brown rice or quinoa, but that's super rare.

-Amenorrhea - Aunt Flo stopped coming to visit all together. I don't know why she's so angry.

-Enlarged lymph nodes in my neck - The cervical lymph nodes for those who know anatomy. This is new, I have yet to have the lovely biopsy.

-Panic attacks - Stores make me freak the ***l out! My chest hurts, it's hard to breathe, heart beats super fast, dizziness intensifies by, well, a lot, I get tunnel vision, I feel anger, my vision is almost distorted like it would be when drunk, and I feel like I'm going to faint in the middle of the store and everyone will just stand there staring at the weird girl who fainted. I'm a woman. We enjoy shopping. I enjoy grocery shopping, especially... Now I dread even driving to the store knowing how uncomfortable I'll be.

The MD I saw for the ear infection ordered an ultrasound on all of my organs, which turned out to be unremarkable, except I have a larger spleen (not swollen, just a "bigger normal"). My blood work for sugars/A1C, thyroid (omg my poor veins have been poked so many times for the thyroid), CBC, etc... and urinalysis tests have all been "normal". He then told me that I just need to "find peace within myself" and shoo'd me away.

I'm now seeing a DO (highly recommend over MD's), and he's sent me to a neurologist who ordered a brain MRI. Normal. I have proof I have a brain! My fiancee did make the point that it doesn't prove I'm smart, though... The MRI did show slightly enlarged neck lymph nodes, so my DO ordered a CT Scan and that simply reconfirmed the enlargement, so now I get a biopsy. Joy.

I've had a ton of blood tests from him also, all normal. They include adrenal gland function, hormonal balances, liver and kidney function, etc... At my last appointment, he said; "You look very healthy and the tests are proving that you are, so I'm at a loss." I appreciated the honesty more than I can express, but it's still disheartening.

I am not fatigued, I am not in pain (aside from my stomach and that's not constant), and I am not depressed.

I'm getting married soon, and I'm afraid I'll be the fainting bride, or will be too sick to have children, or, well, I could list a million other hypochondria scenarios.

If you can shed any light on these miserable symptoms of mine, I would certainly appreciate it.
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replied June 28th, 2014
Welcome to Washington. First, it sounds like you developed an allergy to amoxicillin (and perhaps related things)? If you haven't done so yet, talk to your D.O. about allergy testing. You moved from dry Arizona. If you came to wet western Washington, mold could be a possible culprit.

I'm hoping you can find the cause of all of this stuff that apparently came on rapidly.

Congratulations and best wishes on your wedding. If you travel on your honeymoon, see how you respond to different climates.
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replied January 19th, 2015
Hi there - are you still experiencing symptoms? If, so please read!

I am a 26 year old physically healthy female who has experienced the same symptoms listed above for about 7 years now. After seeing various specialists and doing extensive research, I have only recently found a solution (and cure) to my chronic dizziness. I'm seeking out forums that I may have come across previously in hopes to help some of you, my fellow sufferers, as I fully understand how debilitating constant dizziness can be.

List of the specialists I saw and remained undiagnosed: Primary Care, ENT, Audiologist, Neurologist, Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, and finally... my Optometrist.

Why did I go to an Optometrist for dizziness? As I said, after extensive research (7+ years!) I found myself continuously going back to the possibility of Vertical Heterophoria, a condition of the eyes where they are misaligned in such a way that it causes you to see double, and when your eyes can't compensate, it very often resuts in looming dizziness. Many Optometrists know about the condition but few test for it (and I still don't understand why - I think its the time and extra equipment).

A simple Google search of Vertical Heterophoria can reveal you all you need to know about the condition - and Im telling you, if youre still undiagnosed after seeing what seems every type of specialist, this is likely your issue.

After deciding that this was my final option, that there was no possible way I had any other condition after seeing so many docs, I made an appointment with one of the only Optometrists in the U.S. who tests for and properly treats VH. Believe it or not, I was diagnosed the condition, and prescribed prism lenses which have 100% cured my dizziness. It went away within an hour of wearing the new lenses. The doctor I saw was at Vision Specialists of Michigan. They see patients for this condition from all over the world. They are trying desperately to spread the word about VH to other Optometrists to make treatment easier for sufferers.

I dont work for them Smile Im just so happy that all I needed was a simple prescription change in my eyeglasses, and if thats all you need, then I am happy to help you! Please do reach out if you have any questions or want to discuss further.
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