Connecting The Inner Ear
There are a variety of health conditions related to psoriatic arthritis. Studies have shown that people living with a psoriatic disease can suffer from damage to their inner ears.
For some, this damage can appear as hearing loss. However, it can also cause other issues including dizziness and vertigo.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Brain Fog Link
Not every rheumatoid arthritis patient will experience brain fog, but many of them do. In fact, one study found that 30 to 70 percent of RA patients may experience brain fog from time to time. But what makes a joint disease affect our brain?
Well, there are many different mechanisms that can contribute to brain fog in rheumatoid arthritis. For starters, the use of corticosteroids, which is a common treatment method for RA, can contribute to brain fog. Heart conditions have also been associated with higher cognitive dysfunction.
Other studied factors are depression and anxiety, which are often an inseparable part of living with chronic pain. One Canadian study found that individuals living with higher pain scored poorly on tests measuring their executive functions such as planning, decision-making and working memory like following instructions.
An alternative Canadian study from Calgary found that inflammation elsewhere in the body may contribute to brain fog as well. While studying lab mice, the researchers found that inflamed tissues transmitted signals that produced symptoms like malaise and fatigue to the brain. Chronic inflammation was found to activate immune cells, sending them to the brain and prompting them to release proteins known as cytokines. When in the brain, cytokines alter quantity and activity of neurotransmitters, which are critical chemical messengers.
Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease
Autoimmune inner ear disease or “AIED” consists of a syndrome of progressive hearing loss and/or dizziness which is caused by antibodies or immune cells which are attacking the inner ear.
Goodall reviewed current understanding of AIED in 2015, and Strum reviewed treatment of AIED in 2020. Strum commented that AIED presently lacks an objective method of diagnosis as well as a consensus treatment protocol. We agree. This means that most of what we discuss here has the “garbage in: garbage out” problem — we don’t really know how to diagnose AIED, and we also don’t have a consistent treatment strategy either.
The classic picture of autoimmune inner ear disease is reduction of hearing accompanied by tinnitus which occurs over a few months. Variants are bilateral attacks of hearing loss and tinnitus which resemble Meniere’s disease, and attacks of dizziness accompanied by abnormal blood tests for self-antibodies. About 50% of patients with AIED have imbalance. Because autoimmune inner ear disease usually affects hair cells in the inner ear, and because haircells are needed both for hearing and balance, generally there is both hearing loss and dizziness as symptoms. Less severe form forms have just hearing loss, because hearing is more vulnerable mainly because it has a more difficult job and does not have as much redundancy.
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Functional Examination Of Motion Segments Of The Upper Cervical Spine Is Important In Diagnosing And Treating Vertigo
Why do we find this one sentence so remarkable? Because this one line may be the answer for many of you reading this article. Lets explain.
The researchers suggest that you must examine the motion segments of the upper neck because it is the unresolved vertebral segments that are causing the problems. In our 26+ years of service in treating cervical neck disorders, we have found that many patients who come through our doors do not have an accurate diagnosis or assessment of their situation.
As you can see in the video below, DMX is a motion picture of the bones while a person is moving. It is a dynamic diagnostic tool, versus a static one. The scan is produced in real-time, while the person is moving his/her neck. Pain typically occurs with motion. By being able to see the bones in motion, DMX picks up abnormal or excessive motion whereas MRI, CT scan, and static x-rays do not.
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How Does This Relate To The Sensation Of Dizziness
When the bones of the neck begin to degenerate, the body tries to manage what has been lost. Like our hard-working, and well-meaning brick builders, this can eventually cause bone to form in places it shouldn’t. The additional bone can place pressure on nerve roots and blood vessels that pass between the vertebrae of the spine. Additionally, the degeneration can cause the spaces between the vertebrae to become smaller, also placing pressure on these structures. The weakness in the bones and joint spaces can also make the individual more prone to injury, including strains and sprains.
The vertigo is thought to be caused by neurological and vascular concerns. When certain nerve roots are compressed, this affects the signals going toward the brain, including those for your sense of vestibular tone leading to dizziness and vertigo. The vascular portion of this symptom is due to compression of the vertebral artery, one of the main highways of blood to the brain. As this artery is compressed, blood flow to the vestibulocochlear organ, the one responsible for balance, is reduced.
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When To See A Doctor
Anyone who has multiple episodes of vertigo should see their doctor. For most people, vertigo isnt harmful, but its underlying cause needs to be determined and treated.
If your doctor has prescribed treatments for vertigo, let them know about any new signs or symptoms you might experience. The source of vertigo may not be an inner ear problem, so it is important to rule out other problems.
About 25% of people who experience vertigo and dizziness have a potentially life-threatening diagnosis. You should seek emergency medical attention for some symptoms of vertigo, including:
- Sudden symptom onset
- Double vision or abnormal eye movements
- Severe headache
- Weakness of the arms or legs
- Altered level of consciousness
- Difficulty walking or not acting as you normally would
Psoriatic Arthritis Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctors appointment to help you ask the right questions.
What Is Cervical Spondylosis
Cervical spondylosis is also called cervical osteoarthritis. It is a condition involving changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck. These changes are caused by the normal wear-and-tear of aging. With age, the discs of the cervical spine gradually break down, lose fluid, and become stiffer. Cervical spondylosis usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people.
As a result of the degeneration of discs and other cartilage, spurs or abnormal growths called osteophytes may form on the bones in the neck. These abnormal growths can cause narrowing of the interior of the spinal column or in the openings where spinal nerves exit, a related condition called cervical spinal stenosis.
Cervical spondylosis most often causes neck pain and stiffness. Although cervical spondylosis is rarely progressive, corrective surgery can be helpful in severe cases.
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Managing Headaches And Ra
Here are some other tips for responding to a headache:
- Question your RA treatment. If youve taken Tylenol several days in a row and your headache is sticking around, you might want to talk to your rheumatologist to make sure that its not a side effect of your treatment or a new symptom .
- Consider your stress level. One possible reason that people with complicated health problems like RA also have headaches is stress. Stress management techniques, including appropriate exercise, deep breathing, or meditation, can help cut back on headaches as well.
- Stay hydrated. Independent of RA, you can get headaches if you dont drink enough fluids during the day. You probably know how important it is to care for yourself, but even the most dedicated patient can forget to drink water when life gets busy.
- Get enough sleep. People who don’t get high-quality sleep may also experience more headaches. Because RA pain can interfere with sleep, it may also contribute to headache pain. If you are having a hard time sleeping, let your doctor know. Likewise, any caffeine you may be relying on to get over fatigue can also contribute to headaches.
- Avoid cigarette smoke. For some people, smoking and being around secondhand smoke can trigger headaches yet one more reason to avoid cigarettes and secondhand smoke exposure!
What Causes Autoimmune Diseases
The precise cause of autoimmune diseases is unknown. However, there are risk factors that may increase your chances of getting an autoimmune disease. Risk factors include:
- Some medications. Talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects of medications for blood pressure, statins and antibiotics.
- Having relatives with autoimmune diseases. Some diseases are genetic they run in families.
- Temperature sensitivity.
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Do You Recognize These Symptoms
Those who experience cervicogenic vertigo describe the experience in various ways, and it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, headache, ringing in the ears , and, more rarely, neck pain.
Patients use phrases such as:
- âWhen I turn my neck, it often feels like I am suddenly spinning.â
- âIt is a sensation of falling in slow motion.â
- âThe world around me starts to spin, and I immediately feel nauseated.â
- âI felt off-balance, as everything seemed to tilt around me.â
- âIt comes on suddenly with certain neck movements, and I feel like everything was spinning around me. The spinning causes nausea that is often accompanied by an intense headache.â
If you can relate to any of the above statements, or have similar symptoms, then you may be experiencing cervicogenic vertigo.
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
The cause of the anemia will have to be determined in order to treat it.
- Some medications, such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can also help treat anemia.
- Iron supplements or infusions may be effective for people with rheumatoid arthritis and iron-deficiency
- Vitamins, such as folic acid and vitamin B-12, may treat megaloblastic anemia.
- Your doctor may recommend a change of medication that will have a lower chance of causing
People with rheumatoid arthritis may develop anemia for a variety of reasons, but doctors can offer treatments that can improve the symptoms of both conditions.
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What Are The Other Symptoms Besides Joint Inflammation
Osteoarthritis is specifically a degenerative form of arthritis, the mechanism of which is explained further on. Between the bones, at the areas known as joints, like a cushion of tissue – known as cartilage – allows the bones to glide past one another without friction. As the cartilage wears down, the bones begin to grind leading to sensations of pain, stiffness, swelling and typically a reduction in function.
Hints Test For People With Acute Vestibular Syndrome
- Head Impulse – the person sits upright and is asked to keep their gaze fixed on the examiner. Turn their head about 20-40° to one side and watch their eyes. Normal response = eyes remain fixed on the examiner. Abnormal response = if eyes are dragged off target by the turning action, and there is a correcting movement as the eyes move back to the examiner.
- Nystagmus – the person follows the examiner’s finger moved across horizontally:
- Unidirectional horizontal nystagmus which worsens when gazing in the direction of the nystagmus suggests a peripheral cause such as vestibular neuritis.
- Vertical nystagmus, torsional nystagmus or nystagmus which changes direction with gaze is suggestive of a central cause. Centrally caused nystagmus can usually be suppressed by fixing the gaze.
- Test of Skew – ask the person to look straight ahead then cover each eye in turn then uncover it. Vertical deviation/correction after uncovering is suggestive of central pathology such as brainstem stroke.
There are demonstrations available to view on line.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Brain Fog Memory Loss Connection
Written byDr. Victor MarchionePublished onApril 7, 2016
Rheumatoid arthritis is connected to brain fog and memory loss. Rheumatoid arthritis is commonly associated with joint inflammation, joint pain, stiffness, and impaired mobility, but many patients experience alternative symptoms such as brain fog or memory loss. They may find themselves being forgetful at times or having difficulty thinking.
Brain fog isnt a medically diagnosed term, but it refers to forgetfulness, confusion, or lack of focus and mental clarity. Its almost as if you cant think and your brain just doesnt want to do its job this can be quite frustrating. The good news is, brain fog is temporary, but the bad news is, it can occur often leaving you lacking words when you need them most or just being confused about what is going on around you.
What Triggers My Malaise
After living with chronic pain for a decade, Ive been able to figure out a few things that make malaise worse, as well as things to help me cope with it. Keep in mind that what triggers and eases malaise for me may not be the same for you. It is important to track your own reactions and speak to a health care provider to come up with a treatment that works for you. This will probably involve a lot of trial and error, so be patient.
Medications: Taking multiple medications can contribute to malaise symptoms like nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and appetite changes. It is important to bring this up to your doctor if it is getting in the way of your life and too frequent.
Some vitamins and supplements: Two that many people take to help manage rheumatoid arthritis but happen to make me feel uneasy are turmeric and vitamin B12.
Hunger: Once my blood sugar drops, I feel hangry and nauseous.
Coffee: Too much of my favorite energy-booster brings about some uneasy sensations. If I drink water and eat before or after my coffee, I find the malaise is less likely to occur.
Dehydration: Not drinking enough water throughout the day can be a major trigger for malaise.
Lack of physical activity: If I am sedentary for too long, the malaise arrives.
Fatigue: Maybe Ive overexerted myself or just had a bad nights sleep. Whatever the reason, the more tired I am, the more likely I am to deal with malaise.
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How Common Is Vertigo In People With Psoriatic Arthritis
A small study published in the January 2019 edition of the Journal of Rheumatology looked at 60 patients with psoriatic arthritis and found that 23 percent appeared to struggle with balance, while more than half showed signs of hearing loss.
The study authors say that psoriatic arthritis causes inner-ear damage that may affect hearing and balance.
These findings support those in a study published in the same journal in 2014, which found that 60 percent of subjects with psoriatic arthritis had balance issues caused by inner-ear damage, compared with only 5 percent of subjects in the control group.
Researchers continue to investigate vertigo and psoriatic arthritis in order to better understand links between the two conditions.
What Are The Treatments For Neck Arthritis
Neck arthritis treatment usually involves over-the-counter NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and analgesics to relieve pain and inflammation. Nevertheless, always consult with a doctor about your therapy as these drugs can also have side effects and interactions with other medications.
For treating autoimmune arthritis, we use disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs such as methotrexate, leflunomide, and sulfasalazine. Their goal is to modulate the immune system activity to control inflammation and its related symptoms and slow down the disease progression.
In some cases, your doctor can recommend visiting a physiotherapist to perform specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around the neck and increase flexibility and range of motion.
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Dizziness Giddiness And Feeling Faint
editorial guidelinesMedical Professionals
Professional Reference articles are designed for health professionals to use. They are written by UK doctors and based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. You may find one of our health articles more useful.
Treatment of almost all medical conditions has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. NICE has issued rapid update guidelines in relation to many of these. This guidance is changing frequently. Please visit to see if there is temporary guidance issued by NICE in relation to the management of this condition, which may vary from the information given below.
In this article
Dizziness, Giddiness and Feeling Faint
In this article
Dizziness is a common complaint and has a very broad list of possible underlying causes. Dizziness is a nonspecific term which can mean different things to different people, including true vertigo, light-headedness, weakness , unsteadiness, feeling faint , funny turns, visual disturbance, or a psychological problem.
People with dizziness can experience significant social and occupational morbidity, and establishing the diagnosis is essential in view of the wide variety of possible causes and also to enable effective management. It is essential that patients who present with dizziness should be given the correct diagnosis, both to avoid missing serious neurological causes and to ensure that the right treatment is given.
Research Is Needed On Aied
Autoimmune inner ear disease is very rare, making it difficult to study. One can speculate that there might be effective treatments that simply have not been discovered. For example, there are numerous potential treatments that have not been tried in a formal way. Gamma globulin infusions, given monthly, are useful in numerous autoimmune disorders. This treatment is very expensive, which limits its use. Immune modulating drugs such as are used for treatment of MS have not been tried in AIED, to this author’s knowledge. Other medications that have coincidental suppression of immune responses, such as minocycline, or other anti-TNF drugs , might be tried.
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