The Diagnosis Conundrum: Why Dizzy Patients Struggle to Get Answers
- By Dizzy & Vertigo Institute
- May 31, 2021
Doctor DisconnectInformation and knowledge about inner ear dizziness are not well-dispersed throughout the entire healthcare community. Dizzy patients often come across doctors who “give it their best guess” and pass them along to another specialist. Moreover, vestibular specialists are trained to emphasize and dig further past the patient phrase, “I’m dizzy”. Dizziness is an umbrella term. It’s a starting point for a much deeper conversation between doctor and patient. Ultimately, dizziness can be more specifically described in these varying ways:
- Vertigo (spinning)
- Walking on Clouds
- Visual Disturbance/ Disorientation
- Fuzzy Vision
- Fatigued Eyes
- Feeling Faint
- Tendency to Fall
- Swimming Sensation
- Hypersensitivity in Crowded or Busy Environments
- Spatial Disorientation
Public EducationEven though one in three people will experience vestibular dysfunction at some point in their life, the general population has no idea that there is even such a thing as the vestibular system. There’s very little public information out there about how our balance is internally regulated and furthermore, what could be wrong if their balance is off. When you have a toothache, you know to visit a dentist. When you break an arm, you know that you need to visit an orthopaedist. When you’re feeling constant imbalance, do you know that you should visit an Audiologist with Vestibular Specialty? Most likely not. Public education takes time, though. And there are resources out there ranging from the Mayo Clinic, VeDA, Johns Hopkins Medicine to the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute (and our Instagram memes that make the vestibular system approachable). There is hope for the future of this industry. And there is hope for dizzy patients who cannot seem to get answers. However, it starts with quality vestibular specialists.
What to look for in a vestibular specialist?There are Vestibular Audiologists like us who specialize in diagnosing and treating dizziness and vertigo symptoms. Their focus is on the inner ear and the organs which create balance in humans. Vestibular specialists, most likely, won’t also outfit you with hearing aids. They focus on dizziness and that’s it. How do you know that your vestibular specialist is the real deal?
- They talk with you for an extended period of time (at least 45 minutes) in order to discover your case history.
- They perform a variety of scientific tests (not just a Dix Hallpike Test or VNG).
- They work with a comprehensive team and do not hesitate to collaborate.
- They are active in professional associations and knowledgeable about current research.
- They explain your treatment options in great detail, making sure you understand how it works.