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Vertigo & Dizziness

What is dizziness?

Dizziness is a commonly used term to describe many different feelings that vary from our normal sense of awareness of where our head and body are relative to gravity and our environment.  Some people may refer to it as giddiness, lightheadedness, floaty feeling, unsteady, or off-balanced.

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is a type of dizziness. When the dizziness sensation has a more directional characteristic, especially spinning, the term vertigo is usually applied. This can be a sensation in which you either feel as though you are moving and the world is still, or that you are stationary and the world is spinning in front of you (1).

What are some of the more common causes of dizziness?

The causes of dizziness can number in the thousands. Anemia (causing not enough oxygen to reach the brain), ear infections, to various types and degrees of brain injury or dysfunction, unintentional eye movements, and low blood pressure are just a handful of problems that may produce a sensation of dizziness. Most problems that cause dizziness are not life threatening, but many can be very debilitating. With that said, more serious problems such as stroke or a heart attack can have their first and most significant sign as dizziness.

How is dizziness typically diagnosed?

The majority of dizziness cases are diagnosed from the history that the patient gives the doctor. Initially there is typically very little examination performed unless cardiac or other impending catastrophic issues like a stroke is suspected.

How is dizziness typically treated?

The majority of patients that have dizziness/vertigo are treated with medications that are vestibular suppressants.

“Vestibular suppressants include three general drug classes: anticholinergics, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines. Examples of vestibular suppressants are meclizine and dimenhydinate (antihistamine-anticholinergics) and lorazepam and diazepam (benzodiazepines). Other medications that may be prescribed are steroids (e.g., prednisone), antiviral drugs (e.g., acyclovir), or antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin) if a middle ear infection is present. If nausea has been severe enough to cause excessive dehydration, intravenous fluids may be given.” (2).

Vertigo

What is Innova approach to treating dizziness and vertigo?

At Innova, we understand the multiple potential causes of dizziness. Sometimes you may have more than one mechanism at play and sometimes your symptoms can build over time. That’s why we take the time to study your brain and and other parts and systems of your body that are vital for making you feel stable in your world.  Some of these systems that we thoroughly investigate are your vestibular (inner ear), visual, and proprioceptive (joints and muscle) systems. Some of these areas or systems may be telling you that you are still, while others are giving messages that you are moving. Which messages should your brain believe? This is called a sensory mismatch and it can lead to dizziness, vertigo or many other symptoms besides the dizzy sensation (3).

By looking at specific functional aspects of your brain through careful neurological, physical and special diagnostic testing that scrutinizes balance and eye movement functions, we are able to determine what areas of this complex system are failing to operate properly.

Once your diagnosis is established a customized, targeted approach is developed to correct the “error messages” that are being generated in your brain. We perform cutting edge brain based therapies to get all of parts of your brain and body on the same page. As your targeted areas of abnormal function come back online, your brain can now interpret your world appropriately without a mismatch and more importantly without dizziness.

If you have explored other methods to address your dizziness and have been dissatisfied, contact Leslie, our Patient Care Coordinator to set up a no charge consultation to discuss your case with one of our doctors.

References

Herdman SJ, Clendaniel RA. Vestibular Rehabilitation. 4th ed. F. A. Davis Company; 2014. p. 163. (Contemporary Perspectives in Rehabilitation).

VEDA, Can Medication Help Me Feel Better? [2/28/19]; Available from: https://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorders/treatment/vestibular-medication

Herdman SJ, Clendaniel RA. Vestibular Rehabilitation. 4th ed. F. A. Davis Company; 2014. p. 162, 359. (Contemporary Perspectives in Rehabilitation).

Understand the cause of your dizziness

Our office specializes in complex cases. Call the Patient Care Coordinator today to schedule a time to speak with a doctor.

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