Monday, 3 June 2013

How to stop vertigo

So I may have forgotten to mention in my welcome post that I'm a medical doctor.

Not yet specialised, but currently working in ENT.


No not that guy up there..

By ENT I mean Ear, Nose and Throat.

Now many people out there suffer with vertigo, and for those of you who have it, it's not life threatening but it's not the best feeling in the world if you know what I mean.

It's like trying to walk on one of these carousels...while moving at 30mph!!

Now many of you who've tried to understand what causes your vertigo, I feel your pain.

It took me quite a while to get it too.

Now the type I'll be talking about is something called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo which is what most of you will have.

Now forget what I just called it before I confuse you further.

It basically means feeling as though everything is suddenly spinning, even you maybe, tending to be more noticeable on certain head movements.

So you might look to the left and you're fine, look up, everything's alright but then you look right and...

I won't get too technical because it really is just an fluid displacement in your inner ear.

No this isn't like your inner eye, your ear has 3 parts, outer which you can see and stick q-tips into(which you shouldn't be doing!) the middle and lastly the inner which we're concerned with.

So whenever I see someone with this problem there's 2 things I usually do to sort them out.

Firstly I check to see if it really is a fluid displacement.

So I do this, the Dix-Hallpike test. Forget the name, watch the video.

(Do NOT perform this by yourself and if you have neck or back problems)

So by side of interest he means that patients usually get the vertigo either more on the right or left side.

This manoevre brings on the vertigo so the patient might be like WTH doc?

Secondly after I've confirmed my diagnosis with this, I then do this to them.

(Again people with neck and back problems I warned you)

Now this time after the patient is sat up I get this look...

The majority of the time the vertigo is completely gone or mostly gone, and the patient then proceeds with a dumbfounded stare and asks, 'That was it?' , as if they could've done it at home...well if you have a competent helper I guess you can.

Now wasn't that simple :)

Thanks for reading,


P.S. Are you dizzy after reading all that?

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