Updated: Feb 17, 2022
A month ago I experienced, for the first time in my life, a terrifying vertigo episode. Though I hope none of you reading this article ever get to experience this condition, if you ever do it can be quite frightening. If you don't know what is happening to you, this condition can be horrifying. You get up and suddenly you feel like your entire life has been turned upside-down. You feel completely out of control and completely debilitated. In my personal experience, I had not known anything about BPPV before the vertigo episode took place. Like I am sure was the case for many, CT scans, MRIs, ENT visits, etc., are some of the many testing trials presented to you. Through a process of elimination, I came to find the culprit behind my vertigo episode to be none other than BPPV. For most of you who have experienced this condition, you are familiar with what the "ear crystals" known as otoconia are. But until something happens, you might not have had a clue that inside your ear there are these fine particles of calcium carbonate which literally can pull hairs within the utricle or saccule with a force that is being detected by the hair cells nearby sending information to the brain via branches of the vestibular nerve. When these particles slip or get trapped into the inner semicircular canals then false information is being sent to the brain causing balance issues. There is more detailed information you can read online about the anatomy of this inner ear structure and otoconia but what I want to share with you ultimately is what I am personally doing to improve and share what I learned from various texts, medical journals, books, tests, and physical therapy sessions.
If you have children, please encourage and inspire them to get educated on healthy habits by reading. From a book I read by Kevin Trudeau, Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About, I quote "stronger and stronger antibiotics are continually developed yet people continue to get sicker, and sicker, and sicker. More people are getting more disease than ever before." And we know this is true when we look at the evidence. For example, we don't need children to be obese, this is not something we need in our society. Children don't deserve that either. So the focus should be on how we could avoid something like that via PREVENTION. How do you prevent something like that from happening? If genetics is the fault, let's say, then we educate mothers what to eat, how to live a healthy life, etc., before they become mothers. We don't wait until the mother or child is in midlife. If we can teach young minds to act early in life, we'd have healthier generations to come. This is all logical. Future generations need to be stronger and the only way they will be so is via education. By education, I don't mean just what kids learn in school because that is nowhere near enough. Our education system prepares young people to work in a field with a certain amount of limited attained knowledge. We teach young minds to go to school and find the highest paid jobs upon graduation, to strive for "wealth" with all their strength, rather than teaching them to love life and themselves with all their strength in such a way that they begin early on to focus on what is truly most important - their health. Take for instance stress management. Do you know when children learn about this? If they are lucky, they learn about it in college. That is too late. But the majority of us living in the 21st century we learn about it in our 40s-50s. My personal opinion or view is not biased, please keep that in mind. I cannot be bought because I cannot be bribed. I am only in allegiance with common sense, logic, and good will for humanity. I want young minds to realize how important it is to be educated about healthy life habits early on. This is the only way we will create healthier generations to come; the ONLY way.
In one of Dr. Timothy C. Hain's (2021, July) publications, I read that ear toxins such as aminoglycoside antibiotics clearly cause damage to otoconia as well as dysmorphic otoconia. These ear toxins is what truly got my attention. What are aminoglycoside antibiotics and what kind of medications would they be representative of? I went on to find a list of these aminoglycoside antibiotics but I could not have possibly consumed that, I thought, by taking for example an Advil or Aspirin, a common over the counter drug, which in the past I would take to get relief from headaches. For over two weeks now, I have been obsessed with a word I stumbled upon as a domino effect of my research: Ototoxicity. Clearly, it never sounds good to read about anything with the word "toxicity" in it. This became my main concern because this can be linked to actual drugs that can potentially cause vestibular problems which can lead to dizziness and even hearing loss. From the article below, "Any drug with the potential to cause toxic reactions to structures of the inner ear, including the cochlea, vestibule, semicircular canals, and otoliths, is considered ototoxic." The question I was asking myself next was, naturally, which drugs that are ototoxic could I have possibly ever consumed? Other than an over the counter Advil or Aspirin I don't recall having been on any specific medication before in my life other than some antibiotic many years ago which treated a bladder infection. Surely enough, I kept on reading. Knowledge is indeed powerful.
Soon enough I stumbled upon an actual Ototoxic Brochure, you can find the link in my references list at the end of the article, which literally lists some of the common ototoxic drugs. My findings shocked me. Surely enough, Aspirin was first on the list of such drugs! Salicylates like Aspirin and NSAIDS like Ibuprofen are indeed ototoxic medications. Now, who in the world would really have told me this, you think? The answer is: NOBODY! That's right. I had to read and read and read some more to attain this knowledge. Not even my mother who was a nurse for many years informed me of this. Well, she very likely did not know herself. None of my medical doctors ever mentioned this to me. I had to find this information on my own by digging for answers. The sad part is, we find out about these things when something bad happens to us. This is why the medical system is broken. Rarely will a doctor focus on preventive care and educating the public more about how to lead a healthy lifestyle early on in life. And I am not entirely blaming here anyone specifically because ultimately doctors are not paid to educate you, but to "treat" you when you are ill. Yes it's sad because this isn't what the system should be about. On the APHA (American Public Health Association) website there is a message stating "The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence policy to improve the public's health." Yes, it should be the goal to improve public's health but the best way to do this is not to treat illness but prevent illness from happening. Though no medical practitioner is a God and no patient will live forever, as we are all aware life is fragile and human anatomy is very complex, it should be our effort to educate ourselves as much as we can in order to prevent disease. Instead of influencing political policy, I would have liked to read "influence lifestyle" because folks at the end of the day most illness is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. This is my personal belief and I affirm it fearlessly because it's known. When you go to the doctor and fill our your initial forms, you are asked if you smoke, drink, etc. Why? Because these things impact lifestyle and human life quality not political policy. We should leave the politics out of it and focus on the actual necessary, which is a healthy lifestyle, because this does directly and immensely impact our quality of life experience. That is the key to creating healthier generations to come. I think that is the right perspective.
Clearly, we need to shift from a mentality of "treating illness" to "preventing illness." However, you should also do some due diligence about what types of treatments are available and which one would you personally rather take the risk with first. Some people like me woke up, many because they had to go through hell battling disease (whether that was BPPV, cancer, tumors, etc.). People have become more aware and therefore have begun to do their own research. That should not surprise anyone. When we suffer, we want to make it better but we don't want to make it better for a day or two and then we bounce back to where we were before. There are many doctors now which are focusing their practice more on alternative treatments rather than temporary relief methods that don't bring about permanent results. There is a greater access now to information readily available for the public to read, due to online access to medical journals and other valuable resources like homeopathic and natural remedies. And though you cannot trust everything you read and should question what you read, it's important to read. The list below are only a few of the drugs which are considered ototoxic. I wouldn't doubt in for example The League for The Hard of Hearing brochure because I know their interest in publishing this and making it available is so that we have access to this educational material. The League for the Hard of Hearing was founded in New York in 1910 and is the oldest and foremost hearing rehabilitation and human services agency in the world, so they would know a thing or two about hearing loss.
I don't want you to misread, I don't know what the cause of BPPV in my life truly is. Nobody can actually pin point to the cause but there are possible causes you can become familiar with. BPPV is hard to deal with, it's a condition that involves a very small organ, the Cochlea which is approximately 9 mm (0.35 inch) in diameter at its base and 5 mm in height and the crystals that can float inside the canal (the Otoconia) are estimated to be 1 to 20 μm (1 μm = 0.000039 inch) in length. But hope is never lost as long as we don't give up. My point is we need to seek information. If we are to overcome illness or disease we need enough information even when we feel like we don't have enough answers and are lost. The more we know, the better we are. I want you to consider for example the fact that the majority of us do not have any clue what aminoglycosides are. Take for instance the article from Chad Shaffer, MD (2021), in which he listed the following possible risks in consuming aminoglycosides. I mean, doesn't this scare the living out of you? Now you are probably asking yourself what are these aminoglycosides right? When you realize how dangerous they can be, you want to know. This is why I added several references at the end of his article. I actually printed out the entire brochure from The League for The Hard of Hearing for myself so that I have it as a reference point.
Daily dosing of aminoglycosides can reduce the incidence of kidney toxicity but there is still a risk of the following side effects:
Ototoxicity (ear damage)—hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus
Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage)—elevation of renal function tests
Neurotoxicity (nervous system damage)
Neuromuscular blockade (severe weakness)
Elevated spinal fluid pressure
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
Severe allergic reactions
I will continue to share with you everything I learn, my experience, remedies I tried that work and which don't work for me, etc., as I aim to find solutions that work. So keep your eyes open for these coming articles, as I will be sharing everything I possibly can with you I think it's important for me to share. I know that vertigo and dizziness are not always linked to BPPV and that other underlying causes can be the issue. We all know that "one size doesn't fit all." However, for those who suffer of this condition or have in the past I welcome you to share your experience with me. Please send me an email with your experience and any information you wish to share directly at my email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to learn about others' experiences with vertigo and BPPV. Feel free to share anything you find useful or informative you personally have tried and which worked or didn't work for you. I know everyone is different and one remedy doesn't work for everyone, but, it's important for us to share with others our knowledge and experiences. Therefore, if you feel inclined, you are welcome to send me an email even if it's just to say that you found this article informative.
In the words of Winston Churchill, words which also appear in my most recently published book entitled
The Velvety Bandit of Whisker-Witty-Whoville NEVER NEVER NEVER
GIVE UP! With love for life and humanity
Carmen A. Cisnadean
The Creative Visionary