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By: Susan White
Dizziness can mean an array of unsettling symptoms from feeling faint or woozy to a spinning sensation to losing your balance when you walk. While often unexplained, dizziness is quite common and is one of the most common reasons adults see a physician. Frequent dizzy spells can negatively impact your quality of life, but help and effective treatment are available.
Dizziness is a very complex condition and can be the result of a concussion or other brain injury; inner ear disorder; neck dysfunction; migraines; viral illness; change in air pressure or hydration; or in many cases the cause remains unknown. However, specially trained vestibular physical therapists can perform comprehensive evaluations and develop personalized plans to treat individual dizziness.
Primary care physicians, neurologists and ENTs can provide referrals for vestibular rehabilitation at NorthShore. “As the awareness of our service increases we are seeing more referrals and are thrilled to be helping more patients,” said Vestibular Rehabilitation Physical Therapist Liz Nunez.
Therapists like Nunez do a thorough evaluation and non-invasive testing including reviewing patients’ eye movements, gait assessment and positional testing with customized goggles where they put patients in poses to cause or replicate their dizziness before developing an individual treatment plan.
Treatment plans may include:
“We also provide exercises for patients to do at home, tailored to their personal needs and deficits and we continue to modify their program as they improve,” said Nunez.
Anxiety can often accompany dizziness, particularly for older patients and Nunez and her colleagues work to educate people how to safely and confidently perform their exercises and regular activities at home.
“Dizziness can be very debilitating and to help these patients through their condition and improve their quality of life is very rewarding,” said Nunez. Some patients who may have inner ear conditions can be helped in as few as one or two sessions, while others may require 10-15 sessions.
The most important thing if you are feeling symptoms of vertigo or dizziness is to check with your physician to rule out a more serious condition, and determine if vestibular rehabilitation can help, explained Nunez.
To schedule with a vestibular physical therapist, call rehab services at (847) 570-1250 to be seen at one of our convenient locations: