Hi, I’m new here and still not sure if I even belong as I’m not officially diagnosed. I had an MRI for vertigo 5 months ago and was diagnosed with vestibular migraine (I’ve been having vertigo/dizzy issues for years). I just got a hard copy of the report yesterday and was surprised to see an incidental finding of chiari malformation that was stable from a prior study (surprised because no mention of either was ever made and I was told all is normal). Since it was incidental and my doctor said all is fine I’m not sure what to do.
3-4 years ago I had several tests because of oro-pharyngeal dysphasia and no cause was ever found so I’m just living with it as best as I can, which really isn’t easy at times.
My biggest problem is with liquids and initiating the swallow, also swallowing on command. It is very hard for me to swallow if someone is around me which makes it hard to eat with others. Is this kind of swallowing issue a symptom of chiari? If anyone else has problems swallowing can you share your stories with me?
My other symptom is very hard to describe but I’ll do my best. I get a slight squeezing sensation in upper chest/esophagus which causes me to intake air (kind of like a hiccup). Then I can almost feel the upper esophageal flap open and this causes me to make a hiccup sound (but I’m not hiccupping). The very disturbing part about this is that when it happens it feels kind of like a strong reflex/echo in my throat area and it almost causes me to gag, as if the reflex is so strong it hits my gag reflex.
This is something that is so difficult to explain and not one doctor I have ever talked to about it has ever even heard of it nor can I find anyone else who has this. Doctors look at me like I’m loony. Have any of you ever heard of something like this or experienced it? I don’t know if it’s even related to Chiari.