Dizzy? You are not alone!
Did you know that “Dizziness” is the number 2 complaint heard in a physician’s office? Depending on your age, it may not be surprising for you to know that “Dizziness” is the number one complaint of patients over the age of 70. Generally, this complaint is followed by a statement such as, “I’m getting older” and the person believes there are no solutions. According to John Hopkins, 85% off all reports of dizzy or imbalance can be treated once properly diagnosed.
Categories of Dizziness
There are two categories of dizziness. The first is true dizziness or vertigo. Vertigo can last for several seconds or several hours. The attacks can re-occur and cause nausea, vomiting and feelings of imbalance. Patients typically report that the room is spinning during an attack. The second category is persistent imbalance. This is a feeling of unsteadiness and puts the patient at a high risk of falling. Many time physicians will prescribe Meclizine to help cope with the dizzy sensations. This medication doesn’t cure the symptom but helps to mask the symptoms and relax the patient.
Vertigo can be debilitating and can be caused by Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Migraines, Inflammation of inner ears, Acoustic neuromas (non-cancerous growth), Meniere’s Disease or some neurological disorders such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis or brain hemorrhage. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo and is triggered during head or body movement. Many patients will comment that it happened when getting out of bed or bending over to tie a shoe. This is also the easiest form of vertigo to treat in office.
Someone with balance and/or dizziness should seek out an Audiologist who specializes in diagnosing and treating balance and/or dizziness. During the appointment, all areas of the auditory system and balance system are checked through a variety of tests such as tympanography, acoustic reflexes, ABR, eCoG, VNG, VEMPS, Gan SOP and Dynamic Vision Acuity tests depending on the patient’s symptoms and health history.
Once properly diagnosed, there are four forms of therapy currently available. The first is Canalith Reposition Maneuver Therapy (CRT) and is used to treat BPPV. This maneuver is most commonly performed by audiologists, physicians and physical therapists. The second is vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) that is normal done by an audiologist or a physical therapist who has been specifically trained in VRT. The third form of therapy is balance retraining therapy and should be performed by a physical therapist. This is ideal for patients who do not have a true vestibular deficiency but have symptoms of imbalance due to possible orthopedic or neurological issues. Lastly, depending on the cause of the vertigo or imbalance, a self-directed exercise therapy approach may be recommended.
Get Help Today
If you are currently suffering from dizzy or balance symptoms and want help, schedule a free vestibular screening here or you can schedule by calling 812-532-3011. The staff at Flex Audiology have been trained and certified by the American Institute of Balance and are now accepting new balance patients.