Dizzying Solution to Vertigo

There are so many causes for vertigo that most physicians provide only a statistically popular diagnosis.

HEALTH Imagine experiencing debilitating symptoms no doctor seems able to cure. Despite persistent medical investigation for nearly a decade, the underlying cause remains a mystery. "From 2001 through 2004, 35.4% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) had vestibular dysfunction." [1] Jack* chronicles an ordeal that lasted from 1999 to 2008.

Patient Story: In the simplest of definitions, vertigo is a sensation of whirling or movement though standing still. The statistically popular causes are vestibular dysfunction or an emotional disorder. "With closed eyes, I could imagine the gravitational pull of a roller-coaster dissent or underwater synchronized swimming. Opening my eyes, these same physical sensations invoked a sense of chaos and confusion interfering with basic functions like walking, speech, and concentration. Only the most empathetic could comprehend the agony." The symptoms resembled intoxication (dehydration), without the alcohol.

"On the days without vertigo episodes, there were no residual symptoms. Since these were the only days I was able to travel to a doctor, descriptions of my ordeal were incredulously noted. Condescending solutions included suggestions like rising slowly out of bed, taking acetaminophen, and avoiding alcohol. In the second month of this ordeal, my descriptions of dizziness became manifest during one of such office visits. I felt a bit of relief now that tests could be performed during an attack. Perhaps a solution was in sight."

Continue reading Dizzying Solution to Vertigo: Initial Diagnosis

Tags: auditory canal, case study, ent, first-hand story, otolaryngologist, otolaryngology


1. Agrawal Y, Carey JP, Della Santina CC, Schubert MC, Minor LB. Disorders of Balance and Vestibular Function in US Adults. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169(10):938-944.

* Fictitious name