My adventures with Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops: Diagnosis

Secondary Endolymphatic HydropsThis is the first part of a series chronicling my experience with Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops as a result of a concussion in September 2013.

Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops. Try saying that five times fast. I dare you.

I suspect that I developed very mild SEH after my first concussion as my right ear would consistently “pop” at various times. I remember the summer before my second concussion thinking “Well, I guess my ear will just pop the rest of my life.” My functional neurologist didn’t seem to make anything of it, and it didn’t cause me any pain, so I didn’t worry about it.

Fast forward a month or two, I’d had my second concussion, and whoa, it was a dizzy world out there. My right ear (and left ear, to a lesser extent) always felt full, like someone had stuffed cotton in their while I was sleeping, and popped pretty constantly. It was pretty darn annoying, especially when it felt SO FULL. Finally, after 4 months of dealing with this pressure, I started mentioning it to the functional neurologist every time I saw him (I had mentioned it to him before of course, but it was never high enough priority to be the main focus), and it finally clicked for him. He suggested the possibility of it being Hydrops, and I started lowering my salt intake to less than 1200mg a day. Whew! That was hard. Oh my gosh. But it was so worth it! After three days, the popping had lessened, the pressure had lessened, and I found myself having more stamina, and less dizziness.

Within a week, I got put on hydroclorothiazide (a diuretic) to help “drain” extra fluid out of my ear. Within two weeks, it felt much better. Not normal, but much better.