Ear problem and dizziness: Hi.I had a chest... - LUPUS UK


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Ear problem and dizziness

mousey1 profile image

Hi.I had a chest infection which lasted 5 weeks and a lot of antibiotics,as I also have bronchiectisis.Since then I  have had problems with my left ear,some loss of hearing,hissing noise,slight pain, dizziness and unbalance when walking,Doctor said there was some wax pressing on my ear drum,so used drops,but I'm still having problems with dizziness, and balance some of my hearing has come back and that blocked feeling has gone. I am suffering with anxiety,which doesn't help,and now agrophobic.I read there is a ear condition contributed by autoimmune diseases like lupus.Has anyone had this or heard of it,or suffered from it,as its really stressing me out.

15 Replies

Hi Mouse

I had these symptoms for some time and it came to a head when I had a bad vertigo attack. I was on holiday at the time so it was dramatic. I came home, saw my GP and he referred me to an ENT doc who did some tests and I got a diagnosis and continue on treatment which works well. 

Infections in the inner ear can be caused by throat and chest problems like yours. If the symptoms persist I would go back to your GP to check if the infection has cleared up. If necessary he can ask an ENT doc to check you out.

I know tinnitis (those noises) can be distressing, pain unpleasant and being wobbly can take some of your confidence but please dont let it close down your world. Balance problems can be lessened by certain gentle exercises. I think your GP is definitely the one to help if you explain all your concerns. In the short term, a friends arm, or a walking stick can give you some stability.

I have some of these symptoms still, but I cope. You can too. 

You will get lots of support here and advice. You are not alone.

I hope this helps a bit.

Take care



mousey1 profile image
mousey1 in reply to Footygirl

Thank you for replying.It is nice to talk to someone who is has experienced this,and know that there is light at the end of tunnel.Luckily I have a lovely gp,but he has been on holiday.He is sorting out counselling for me as I do have GAD which makes  me worry even more.Take care all the best.

Yes, mousey...I've a lot of experience of chronic probs with this sort of thing.  My understanding is that there can be many causes of these sort of symptoms.  I'm sure you'll get more interesting & helpful replies like footy's.  Over the years, we have discussed this subject many times here on forum.  For what it's worth, here is my experience:

Vertigo has been an issue all my life, starting in childhood.  My version of lupus was infant onset.  Am now 62, but that early diagnosis was only recovered 5-6 years ago when the NHS finally figured out what was underlying my lifetime of dodgy multisystem health and diagnosed secondaries.

One multisystem prob that was investigated by NHS ENT in the mid 80s began to flare especially severely after a very bad long bout of virus with throat & chest infection...which sounds a bit like yours...although any actual loss of hearing troubled me less that the dizziness, tinnitus, dreadful fatigue etc...I could barely walk and certainly wasn't driving...had a lot of time off work...got very depressed & weepy.  My GP said it was labyrinthitis and put me on full strength stemetil which was useless.  Eventually he had to refer me to ENT, where a battery of tests, (including tests for Menieres), indicated vestibular neuritis (which I now know is seen in SLE patients) complicated by the spondylosis/osteoarthritis in my neck.  

the ENT consultant took it all v seriously and gave me a big lecture about looking after myself...telling me I'd be in a wheelchair by 50.  Which made me feel even worse.  If only the NHS had tested me for inflammatory markers etc at  that point...we're now sure I was in a big lupus flare.  Instead I was instructed to stop stemetil, go home, stay very quiet and wait for my body to recover and NOT WORRY.  My employers were very good to me.  I basically mostly sat on the sofa for 6 weeks, while, very slowly, the symptoms damped down enough for me to return to work (part time at first).  

But the cluster of symptoms involved in that long flare have continued to trouble me on a daily basis...before starting on my combined therapy lupus meds 5 years ago, the only way I could manage these symptoms was by pacing my activities ultra carefully and getting lots of sleep including afternoon naps and not worrying.  I learned to meditate as a teen...which has always helped me a lot to manage my anxiety & depression...as has CBT.  

Then, several years ago, when my lupus clinic added prednisolone and myco cellcept to my daily meds, these particular chronic symptoms became a bit less troubling...which felt like a miracle.  I am now the most stable I've ever been with regard to my version of these symptoms...but I do still need to lifestyle mange conscientiously in order to minimise them.

Wishing you relief from your symptoms soon...my feeling is that it's really good you have an attentive GP and that you know you live with an underlying immune dysfunction/connective tissue disorder.  These precious pluses  will be key to understanding the cause of your symptoms & how to diagnose and treat them

🍀🍀 coco

mousey1 profile image
mousey1 in reply to Barnclown

Thank you for your experience of this.I had a really bad day yesterday,I felt quite a bit better in the morning then at lunchtime it got bad again,which causes me to have anxiety/panic attack,my face tingling etc,wondering if I'm going to have a stroke,of which I did 16 years ago,but I know  you don't get a warning it just happens.my GP is coming back Monday to check my bp as it was higher then normal ,I do take meds for it as he said that could effect my balance so we will have to wait and see,if I could stop worrying and anxiety I am sure it will help. Take care regards

Barnclown profile image
Barnclown in reply to mousey1

It's really good your kind helpful GP is giving you real assistance in coping with these symptoms & the anxiety.  I hope you won't hesitate to use your out of hours GP service in his absence though.  Take care mousey...and please let us know how things go xo 

Thank you will do,take care regards

Have you been checked for Eustachion Tube Dysfunction? It causes symptoms very much like the ones you are describing. I was diagnosed with this around six years ago. It isn't there all the time but does flare up at times. I was given Pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, to take when it does flare up and always have a bottle in my medicine box. One thing, don't try to clear your ears using your fingers or cotton buds as this can make things ten times worse. What I was told to do was close your mouth, hold your nose and blow. After doing so swallow. This can, but not always, make your ears pop relieving the stuffed up feeling.

Thank you for your replyNo I haven't been tested yet.I have had drops as ear had wax in it,but made me more dizzy,I have that blocked feeling in ear again today and slight pain.I do that blowing as you suggested,chew menthol gum and inhale steam as GP said the tubes can be blocked,last week when I burped my ear started to make a swishy noise, and the ringing subsided,and some of my hearing came back, which he said was a good sign that it was beginning to clear,but that seems to have stopped again.It seems to fluctuate,I also get nasal drip which I don't think helps.I must admit I did try with a cotton bud which as you said proberly makes things worse.I was also on antibiotics last week and wonder if that may have helped as since finishing them it seems to be getting worse again.Last time the GP came his implement that looks in your ear was broken so he couldn't look inside my ear lol so that was a great help lol,but on Monday when he comes hopefully he will be able to check.regards 

chest infection    is a virus    you need  to  eat    garlic  because it   fights  both  bacteria and  viruses .    you can  look up   the herbs that heal the    lungs and their  linings

mousey1 profile image
mousey1 in reply to ruthgriffith

Thank you for that,I will look.

ruthgriffith profile image
ruthgriffith in reply to mousey1

your welcome  bless you 

Paul_Howard profile image
Paul_HowardAdministrator in reply to ruthgriffith

It is regularly advised for people with lupus to be cautious about having garlic because it can boost the immune system, which in turn can potentially increase the level of lupus activity. 

mousey1 profile image
mousey1 in reply to Paul_Howard

Thank you for that Paul, luckily I'm not a lover of garlic.

My dr mentioned the name labyrinth ihad the same symptons which reoccurs hope this is a help

mousey1 profile image
mousey1 in reply to Lucieb01

Many thanks for that 

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