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DEFEAT DIZZINESS – It’s Balance Awareness Week

At The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic, we’re kicking off Balance Awareness Week! A whole week dedicated to defeating dizziness.

Top Ten Facts about Vestibular Disorders

1. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with balance.

2. Over 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) have had a vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives.

3. Vestibular disorders can be caused by disease, injury, poisoning by drugs or chemicals, autoimmune causes, traumatic brain injury, or aging. Many vestibular disorders occur from unexplained causes.

4. Symptoms of vestibular disorders include dizziness, vertigo (a spinning sensation), imbalance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue, jumping vision, nausea/vomiting, hearing loss, anxiety, and cognitive difficulties.

5. Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose. It is common for a patient to consult 4 or more physicians over a period several years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

6. There is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders. They may be treated with medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise), surgery, or positional maneuvers. In most cases, patients must adapt to a host of life-altering limitations.

7. Vestibular disorders impact patients and their families physically, mentally, and emotionally. In addition to physical symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo, vestibular patients can experience poor concentration, memory, and mental fatigue. Many vestibular patients suffer from anxiety and depression due to fear of falling and the loss of their independence.

8. Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and vestibular migraine.

9. In the US, medical care for patients with chronic balance disorders exceeds $1 billion per year.

10.The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is the largest patient organization providing information, support, and advocacy for vestibular patients worldwide. (For more information click HERE)

If you or a loved one suffers from dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, instability or vestibular dysfunction, please feel free to contact our office to find out how we can help! (519) 961-9285

BPPV Testing and Management

The Epley Maneuver – Voodoo Medicine?

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of the Epley maneuver – you’ll know where we’re coming from with this one….

The Epley maneuver is an exercise used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, which is a disorder arising in the inner ear. Its symptoms are repeated episodes of positional vertigo, that is, of a spinning sensation caused by changes in the position of the head. The maneuver is done with the assistance of an Audiologist or Doctor. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed. 

In the 1970’s, John Epley, the U.S. pioneer of cochlear implant surgery found that vertigo attacks were caused by crystals breaking free from the inner ear and settling in the semicircular canals of our vestibular organs. Our brain perceives these crystals as movement, even if we are still.

Our Doctors of Audiology at The Hearing & Dizziness Clinic have a special interest in vestibular disorders, whether it be true vertigo, un-diagnosed dizziness or imbalance. And if you ask some of our patients on the receiving end of the Epley maneuver, it sure seems like voodoo medicine. Often these patients get up and walk confidently from our office after just one treatment (sometimes after suffering years with vertigo). For particularly stubborn crystals – it may take two treatments.

Recent studies show that 40% of those admitted to hospital with a head injury have BPPV, and can be helped by the Epley Maneuver.

If you are suffering with vertigo, half an hour with our Audiologists may change your life. Call Melissa and set up an appointment with our Doctors of Audiology. We know it’s no fun to suffer with vertigo, so we’ll do our very best to get you in as quickly as possible. (519) 961-9285.

Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/18/adventures-in-human-being-gavin-francis-review-john-epley-wirvell, http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9354276&utm_source=Issue_Alert&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=BIM