Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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From: Renee Hobayan


My first experience of vaso-vagal occurred about 3 years ago in an ENT's office during one of several hearing tests. I suffer from vertigo and wanted to find out what was going on. I was sitting in an upright position in a chair with a device over my right ear with a consistent tapping sound occuring. I told the assistant performing the test that I was not feeling well. I became clammy and light-headed. She asked if I would like to lay down for the remainder of the test, which I did, and I was fine after that. No one ever told me what this incident was called or anything. I was diagnosed by this doctor as having Minear's Disease in my left ear.

My next experience occurred just recently in another ENT's office. He had sprayed something up my nose to perform an exam of my sinuses. He left the room for me to numb up (about 10-15 minutes). I started to feel really strange, clammy and light-headed again. He finally returned to the room and I told him I did not feel well and that I thought I was going to pass out. He mumbled this name "vaso vagal" which he explained some people get this and that I was sensitive probably to the spray. He did the exam even though I was not feeling well. By the end of the exam, I was okay.

He later referred me to an allergist in his practice. This doctor had his nurse give me an allergy test of 40-some needle sticks in each of my lower arms. I was fine through the first arm, then half-way through the second arm, the nurse asked me if I was okay and I said no, I feel like I'm going to pass out. She said, "I tought so, you are getting clammy on me." She almost did not get the needles that were laying on each side of me out of the way fast enough. I told her I need to lay down. I was fine after that. My doctor mumbled these same words to me and I finally asked him to please right it down so I would know what he was saying. He explained vaso vagal to me. He also explained that convulsions and seizures can occur on some people. He wanted to do further allergy testing in a week on my upper arms and gave me a prescription for a numbing ointment to use one hour before my testing. This would prevent me from feeling the needle-sticks and hopefully prevent me from having this feeling occur. I went back a week ago, and the same thing happened towards the end of the needle-sticks. I could not feel too much of the sticks, maybe just a little, but I still had the same symptoms occur. The nurse left me lay down for the remainder of the sticks.

I just wanted to share my experiences with you regarding this condition and hope that it helps you with your research.

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007