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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Ear Nose and Throat

Question: Severe Vertigo and driving

mscobra26 - Thu Jan 06, 2005 8:11 pm

I had an episode of vertigo which caused what I think was a Panic attack while driving home from Savannah, GA to Clemson, SC. Can anyone tell me what causes "vertigo" and what treatments are available for this?? I was given Paxil for it but I then felt as if I was a head case. The attack consisted of Rapid heart beat (made me think I was having a Heart attack) and a sense of separation from myself. I am 31 yrs old and never felt so helpless in my life. 4 trips to the ER and no explanation is just simply disheartening. I feel like a freak of nature. Help!! Anyone??
Theresa Jones, RN - Sun Jan 09, 2005 1:07 pm

Hi mscobra26,
Generally speaking, mental stress can make many forms of vertigo worse, but will not, by itself, produce vertigo. In some cases the cause of vertigo is unknown. Vertigo can be a symptom of many different illnesses and disorders from inflammation of the inner ear to disorders in the back of the brain and or certain medications. If a neurological evaluation has not been completed to rule out a physical cause, I would suggest it be completed. Treatment depends on identifying the underlying cause. Meclizine is a common medication used to treat vertigo, but again an underlying cause should be indentified for appropriate treatment.

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