Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Vestibular Disorders – Even Oprah is Talking About Them!

Oprah is not only one of the most powerful women in the world, she is also one of our favorite Chicagoans!

So it makes me extremely happy when Oprah’s magazine, O, features a story on dizziness and balance disorders. Thanks, Oprah!

Here’s a pretty great article:

Good Luck!

Although our blog is usually about vestibular disorders, we want to give a special shout out to our               img1                      Chicago 2009 Marathoners. We have a number of  runners we work with through the Imerman Angels, the Chicago Tri Club and the National Runaway Marathon Teams who will be running the 2009 Chicago Marathon this Sunday, October 11th.

GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!!!!

Finding the Right Physical Therapist

Finding the right physical therapist to treat your vestibular symptoms is crucial to your rehabilitation. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Is the therapist a licensed physical therapist?
  • Is the therapist credentialed in treating vestibular patients? What credentials does he have? Has he treated this type of problem before?
  • Who owns the physical therapy facility: the physical therapist herself, an outside company, doctors or a hospital? (It’s best to have independent treatment, and you need to know if a doctor will profit by referring you to a facility in which she has a financial interest.)
  • Do I need to pay when I visit? Am I billed or does my insurance company pay?
  • What does the initial consultation involve?
  • What are office hours? Where would I park? Are there individual treatment rooms?
  • What type of therapy equipment is available? (Your treatment might require a specific piece of equipment.)
  • Will you provide me with balance exercises that I can do at home?
  • Will I be seen by a physical therapist or a physical therapist aide?
  • Will you report on my progress and your evaluation regularly to my other health care providers?
  • Will I get to discuss my treatment goals with a therapist? Will that person be responsible for my treatment?
  • What will my evaluation include?

**Modified for vestibular patients from Johns Hopkins web site:

Dr. Hain and the 3rd Vestibular Support Group

Our most recent Vestibular Support Group, held at LifeStyle’s office in Chicago, increased in attendance and we had our first guest speaker, Dr. Timothy Hain. Chicago’s “dizzy doctor”, as many patients call him, is a neurologist with Chicago Dizziness and Hearing as well as a Professor of Neurology and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University Medical School.

Dr. Hain began his discussion with an overview of the different definitions of dizziness and the reasons for dizziness. Patients go to doctors for many reasons and use the term “dizziness” and it could refer to many things, whether it’s vertigo, or a sensation of motion, ataxia, an unsteadiness, or lightheadedness/faintness.

dizzyAlmost 50% of dizziness stems from your ear, but that means that about 50% of dizziness stems from something else (including brain trauma, psychological reasons, and other medical reasons).

Dr. Hain then gave an overview of BPPV, Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis and bilateral vestibular loss. He gave great insight and even case examples about the different vestibular disorders. Dr. Hain discussed studies that are being conducted on mice (no humans yet) to regenerate damaged, non-working hair cells within ones ear – which are the cells that are the sensory receptors for the vestibular system – humans are not able to regenerate damanged cells while birds are able to.

Dr. Hain also discussed the use of Betahistine in the treatment of Meniere’s Disease – while not FDA legal in the US, the Europeans widely use the product. For an overview and Dr. Hain’s review of the drug, please go to:

For more information on Chicago’s VSG, please send an email to:

Reminder: Vestibular Support Group on Saturday!

Our Vestibular Support Group will be held this Saturday, August 15th at LifeStyle: 3130 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657. We already have a fantastic RSVP list but would like to have more. Dr. Timothy Hain, a renowned neurologist from Chicago Dizziness and Hearing, will be speaking  at the meeting. Bring your family, friends, and support systems. Light refreshments at 11:30am, meeting starts at 12:00pm.

For more information or to RSVP, contact

Recognizing Children’s Vestibular Problems

As stated in previous blog entries, children can easily have symptoms of vestibular disorders without their parents knowledge. Whether it’s because of a child’s lack of ability to communicate the disorder or the reduced likelihood of children having vestibular disorders than adults  is questionable. What we do want to know is how to recognize these disorders as early as possible. If you suspect your child may have a vestibular disorder:

1) Notice how your child reacts to typical childhood activities on the playground. If he’s uncomfortable with movement, he may resist rides down the slide or opportunities to swing. If he needs intense movement he may never seem satisfied with how high he goes or how fast he spins.

2) Think about your child’s reaction to new situations involving movement. If she’s uncomfortable with movement, she may avoid the situation or move extremely slowly. Children who under respond to movement, may move too quickly, and appear risky in their behavior.

3) Reflect on how your child reacts to elevators. Children who are uncomfortable with movement may refuse to go on escalators or elevators. Some children experience nausea when riding in the car.

4) Observe your child’s behavior while going up and down stairs or stepping off curbs. If he holds too tightly to the banister or appears overly serious, he may have gravitational insecurity.

5) Recognize that a child may have a vestibular sensory problem if she seems to crave excessive movement, such as jumping, bouncing, spinning or rocking. She may twirl repeatedly but never appear dizzy.

6) Talk to your child’s school about her behavior in class. Ask the teacher if she fidgets frequently. Many children with vestibular problems need to move frequently to feel where they are in space.

Post-Traumatic Vertigo

A number of our new evaluations that have come in suffer from post-traumatic vertigo. It has been reported that approximately 50% of head and neck injuries result in dizziness and disequilibrium. Post-traumatic dizziness due to  injuries of the head and neck are most commonly linked to post-traumatic concussions, but there are other diagnoses that should be taken into account. In the link provided below is an article written about the different diagnoses of post-traumatic injuries: temporal bone fracture, labyrinthine concussion, BPPV, perilymphatic fistula, post-traumatic Meniere’s syndrome (hydrops), epileptic vertigo, cervical vertigo, migraine-related vertigo, post-concussion syndrome.

This article definitely gives an in depth look at specific symptoms for each of the above diagnoses, along with how long it takes for the symptoms to appear (sometimes symptoms take days or even weeks to appear after injury), and successful management of the symptoms for each diagnoses.;col1