Posts Tagged ‘doctor’

Forums: Pour Your Hearts Out

I have been toying with the idea of starting a vestibular disorder forum where our readers can ask questions and meet other individuals dealing with their disorders. Until then, here are some forums that may be able to help.

Vertigo:  dizziness

1) Dizziness & Vertigo Forum at Daily Strength:

2) Vertigo Forum on Topix:

3) Vertigo Forum on MedHelp:

4) Vertigo Forum on Neurology Channel:

Vestibular Disorder:

1) Dizzy Lounge Inner Ear & Vestibular Support Group:

Chronic Illness:

1) But You Don’t Look Sick Forum:

2) Chronic Babe Forum:

Meniere’s Disease:

1) Meniere’s Talk Forums:

2) You Are Not Alone Meniere’s Forum:

3) Meniere’s Support Forum:

Dizziness and the Healthcare System

With healthcare being one of the main topics of discussion in the news lately, I thought I would share a few facts about dizziness and balance disorders and what it’s costing our healthcare system.


Falling & the elderly:


  • – Falls in persons over 65 years old is #1 cause of death
  • – 30-40% of community dwelling adults older than 65 fall
  • – A history of gait or balance disorders increase the risk of fall three fold- attributed to 17% of falls
  • – Dizziness or complaints of vertigo account for 13%


  • A study of people 72 and older found that the average health care cost of a fall injury was $19,440 (including hospital, nursing home, emergency room, and home health care, but not doctors’ services) (Rizzo et al. 1998).
  • The total direct cost of all fall injuries for people 65 and older in 2000 was slightly more than $19 billion: $179 million for fatal falls, and $19 billion for nonfatal falls (Stevens et al. 2006).
  • By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $43.8 billion (in current dollars) (Englander et al. 1996).



Brandt-Daroff Exercises

Brandt-Daroff exercises are exercises often used to help treat (not cure) BPPV and vertigo. These should be taught to you by a licensed health professional to ensure you are doing them correctly – if you aren’t doing it correctly, it won’t help at all!

Below is a description of the exercise to give you an idea of what it entails.

1) Sit on your bed in an upright position.

2) Lie down on your side with your head at a 45 degree angle

3) Lie on your side until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)

4) Sit back up straight in an upright position until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)

5) Lie down on your opposite side with your head at a 45 degree angle

6) Lie on your side until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)

7) Sit back up straight in an upright position until your vertigo/dizziness ends (30-60 seconds)


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:

20 Things to NOT Say to an Ill Person

20 Things to NOT 120px-SlashCircle_svgSay to an Ill Person  

#1 – You look so good today! 

#2 – You just need to get out of the house more

#3 – If you stop thinking about it, the pain will go away

#4 – You should just pray harder

#5 – You must not want to get better if you won’t try this

#6 – When I was your age I didn’t have the luxury of being sick

#7 – You’re sick again??

#8 – I wish I could just sit around all day

#9 – No pain, no gain!

#10 – I’d be sick too if I saw doctors as much as you do

#11 – I have this juice that is working wonders…

#12 – You must still have sin in your life

#13 – If you got a job you’d have something else to think about

#14 – Your illness is caused by stress

#15 – You can’t be in that much pain. Maybe you just want attention

#16 – What have you done to make God so mad at you?

#17 – There are easier ways to get attention

#18 – It’s not good for your kids to always hear you whining

#19 – When are you going to get rid of that cane? 

#20 – I’m so glad to see you out and about feeling all better

Friday Cartoons to Make you Smile!







cartoon 2








cartoon 3

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: