Posts Tagged ‘nausea and dizziness’

Children and Their Unique Balance Disorders

Childhood vestibular disorders are extremely rare; in a survey done in 2005, out of an estimated 16,000 children seen at a hospital, only 119 of their chief complaints was of vertigo. Of these 119 children though, “benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood, migraine-associated dizziness, vestibular neuronitis, and otitis media-related dizziness” were the reasons behind the vertigo.

This article discusses otitis-media related vertigo (vertigo resulting from the inflammation of the inner ear) and vestibular neuritis (imbalance due to the inflammation of vestibular nerve), which are also prevalent in adults. This article also discusses two childhood balance disorders that are unique to children: benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood and benign paroxysmal torticollis of infancy. 

http://nurse-practitioners.advanceweb.com/Editorial/Content/Editorial.aspx?CC=196799

For more information on BPV:

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/v/vertigo_benign_paroxysmal_in_childhood/intro.htm

For more information on BPVI:

http://www.benignparoxysmaltorticollis.com/

Non-Technical Vestibular Rehabilitation Equipment

As well as the super expensive diagnostic and rehabilitation treatment tools that I’ve previously discussed, we also use a number of very simple, extremely effective tools and techniques.

One simple tool to use is an object with a marked center. For example, we use a white, circular measuring tape that has a red dot in the center. When the patient is first starting therapy, they will sit in a chair and do different exercises with this object. Exercises will include slowly moving the head back and forth, or up and down, while keeping their eyes focused on the red dot. Exercises progress to include moving the head as well as the object, while keeping their eyes focused on the red dot. As the patient progresses, they will also eventually walk down the hallway while doing the exercises.

Another similar exercise that we have patients do is walking down the hallway with a sheet of paper that contains lines of letters. The patient will walk while reading the letters and turning their head slowly left and right. It causes the patient to learn how to focus their attention on one thing while various external stimuli surround them.

All of these exercises work to re-train the brain and the vestibular system. These exercises should be taught by a trained professional – it is unlikely that your vestibular symptoms will decrease simply by trying these exercises at home by yourself. Although they are simple enough to learn, the trained professional will be able to direct you and correct any wrong movements.

Dizzy Patient Testimonial to Vestibular Rehabilitation

“In December ’08 when I started, I felt very unbalanced while walking even a short distance, like down a hall. I became dizzy and got headaches while driving. I would feel dizzy and floaty while sitting still sometimes. My vision made things look very jerky while moving, and shifting slightly while sitting.

In June ’09 when I finished, I feel much more confident in walking and driving. I’ve walked a mile or two with some manageable dizzy symptoms, but I didn’t have to stop…Overall I feel I have a much better quality of life after this therapy!!” – K.N.

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Combatting Nausea

As the world is spinning for dizzy patients, nausea is often a side effect. Here are a few tips for combatting nausea:

1) Sit down on a chair, close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths. This will help with both dizziness and nausea.

2) Antiemetics (anti-nausea) medication may provide temporary relief, but please note that the side effects of these medications often include drowsiness.

3) At our clinic we always have a stash of ginger candies to hand patients – they definitely help as they soothe upset stomachs.

4) Sources point to vitamin B6 as counteracting against nausea.