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Your Health: Seeing your way to relief
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Vertigo is a vestibular disorder commonly associated with a dizzying sensation within stable surroundings. This illusion of motion becomes more common and more of a complaint as patient's age.
Sue Stanfield, P.T
Though vertigo is most common in the elderly, it can still affect both sexes at any age, and it can be a temporary or permanent condition. Some of the corresponding symptoms include nausea, emesis, and diaphoresis.
Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms affecting about 30 percent of people over the age of 65. From 2001-2004, 35.4 percent of adults 40 years and older had been diagnosed with vestibular dysfunction, and broad-based demographic studies consistently show that vestibular disorders are under diagnosed and undertreated.
Vertigo is caused when the organ of balance, the vestibular system in the ear, has problems calculating information to the brain such as balance.
Balance problems can range from ringing in the ears to loss of hearing. Vertigo can also be caused by any changes in the parts of the brain that control balance.
Vertigo can occur in any instance when tiny crystals in the inner ear become loose, giving the body a false sense of movement. Some other causes include head trauma, labyrinthitis, neuronitis, and Meniere's disease. If taken in high doses over time aspirin, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sedatives, and tranquilizers can cause temporary dizziness.
In treatment special goggles are used that include a built-in infrared video camera that magnifies and records patient eye movements during specific manipulations of a patient's head. The video captures eye movements, which reveal a pattern commonly seen in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV.
The canalith repositioning procedure can help relieve BPPV. The canalith repositioning procedure can move the otoconia to a part of your ear where they won't cause dizziness. Performed in your doctor's office and at home, the canalith repositioning procedure consists of several simple head maneuvers. The canalith repositioning procedure is quite effective, with an approximate cure rate of 80 percent.