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Dizziness and balance fluctuations: patient cooperation in treatment is often important
When everything turns, the earth sways and the ground gives way, it is not only uncomfortable for those affected, but often also a sign of a disease that requires treatment. Dizziness is the second most common symptom in German practices: about one in ten is affected. What many do not know: dizziness does not describe an independent clinical picture, but is a symptom of various diseases. The most common cause of acute dizziness is a functional disorder in the organ of balance. When it comes to finding the cause and subsequent therapy, patients therefore initially belong in the hands of ENT doctors, as the HNOnet NRW, an association of established ear, nose and throat doctors, points out.
Through a targeted survey, otolaryngologists find the first indications of possible causes of dizziness. A spinning dizziness with an acute onset and aggravation during fast movements already indicates a disturbance in the inner ear. Situation-related dizziness with feelings of anxiety and circulatory symptoms, however, is more psychological. There is also often the so-called migraine dizziness, which is sometimes accompanied by a headache. Dizziness with neurological causes is more characterized by a diffuse dizziness and possibly other neurological failures such as visual disturbances. Special tests, hearing tests and also balance tests provide information about the exact cause. For example, the otolaryngologist carries out various balance tests, such as videonystagmography and posturography. “We determine the function of the balance organs and the patient's ability to coordinate. This is how we determine how badly the balance function is impaired and how high the risk of falling, especially in older patients, ”explains Dr. Uso Walter, CEO of HNOnet and practicing ENT doctor in Duisburg.
If dizziness arises from a disease in the balance organ, ENT doctors will then develop an individual therapy concept based on various building blocks. This includes medication and physiotherapy measures with posture and vertigo training. "Especially when the dizziness has persisted for a longer period of time, the patient's involvement in the vertigo training is necessary," explains Dr. Walter. “Many ENT doctors also offer a new type of balance coordination system for training. Through various exercises, critical situations for the balance organ are deliberately brought about. For example, those affected use eye and body movements to compensate for deficits. ”As a result, they learn to keep their balance in the future and no longer react to difficult situations with dizziness symptoms. However, the training must be repeated regularly and for a long time. In general, however, the following applies: Do not ignore frequently recurring dizziness symptoms, as this can hide serious illnesses. (pm)
Image: Gerd Altmann, Pixelio.de