Dizziness and Vertigo are common conditions. It is not until one experiences the world spinning around them or perpetual feelings of rocking and bobbing that they realize how disabling and unpleasant these symptoms truly are. Estimates vary, but somewhere between 15-35% of the population has dizziness at any given time, and the older we become the more likely we are to have dizziness.
The standard flow for a patient with Dizziness or Vertigo is that they see their GP or they go to the ER. From there, they are typically referred to an Ear Nose, and Throat specialist and or neurologist. After that, an MRI or CT of the brain is performed, a Balance and Video Eye Movement testing takes place, and then hearing testing. A diagnosis is typically given which may be a condition like Meniere’s disease, Vestibular Neuronitis, Vestibular Hypofunction, BPPV, or Vestibular Migraines (there are many more but these are the most common conditions). Antinausea meds, vestibular suppressants, and physical therapy are recommended next most commonly.
If this sounds like you, know that you are not alone and that there is a very large population of patients who still have dizziness and or vertigo attacks even after going through the aforementioned referrals and tests.
The paradigm most patients and doctors have is that there is something wrong with your inner ear, and the inner ear is the cause of all of these problems. The reality is that this is true to a certain extent, but those who have chronic dizziness and vertigo typically have a problem where their BRAIN is not adapting to what happened to the inner ear.
Human studies have shown that the vestibular nerve can be cut and in 7 days the individual should be functional again. That is a complete loss of inner ear function and in 7 days the brain should be able to compensate for the lack of signals. If your symptoms are continuing, why is your brain not adapting? That is the question we tackle at Gates Brain Health.
Our patients go through detailed testing of the inner ear, as we use video nystagmography in our office (computerized eye movement testing and calorics), but we also critically evaluate how your brain is processing the inner ear signals.
Enjoy the videos below and let us know if you have any questions.
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome
Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness