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Chronic Dizziness

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Chronic Dizziness including- Labyrinthitis, Vestibular Neuritis, BBPV, Migraine Associated Vertigo, including Vestibular Migraine, Uncompensated Dizziness (Sensory Integration Dysfunction), Meniere’s disease, Dizziness from central issues where there is associated dizziness or balance issues such as in Ataxia:

Many people in the UK will present to the doctor with dizziness, it is a very common complaint, however there are a significant number of people that are impacted by dizziness that do not recover in a timely manner and their dizzy issues becomes chronic and ongoing.  This chronic dizziness can be caused by many different triggers and very often results from some type of virus, or is associated and triggered by something centrally such as migraine syndromes persistently hammering at the vestibular system.  Dizziness can also be triggered by certain head positions which can dislodge crystals in our ear, this is called BBPV.

Depending on the particular trigger, chronic dizziness can be treated fairly successfully through vestibular rehabilitation.

When a person comes to clinic with chronic dizziness as their presenting issue, Pam will carry out an assessment session where she will take a full and detailed history alongside safe tests to identify the likely source of the issue when feasible and safe to do so.  Pam will check for the presence of vestibular deficits or symptoms (peripheral issues) or for the presence of BBPV.  If central issues other than migraine are suspected, Pam will recommend a visit back to the GP for further tests before it is treated as a chronic issue.

As long as it is deemed safe to do so, Pam will start a person-centred rehabilitation plan to improve a person’s dizziness issues and challenges, and this will be based on the specific instances where dizziness is triggered.  The rehabilitation will be built upon week by week as symptoms settle down, though if BBPV is suspected upon history or test, Pam will go into treating it straightaway to try to and induce immediate relief from the person’s suffering.

Alongside this Pam will look at specific behaviours through the CBT lens that have become unhelpful or have inhibited a person’s recovery from their dizziness.

Dizziness is a petrifying experience as it feels so unnatural and alarming to the mind and this feeling can also result in nausea or vomiting.  The whole experience can understandably become a major anxiety trigger, and anxiety and dizziness have a well documented cross over.  The anxiety that results from dizziness tends to amplify the issue, therefore in therapy alongside the rehabilitation we try to quieten down this anxiety response within the brain to dizziness.  This anxiety response can present in multiple ways and has commonalities but is also individual to each sufferer.  Pam is able to help with therapeutic management of any presentation of anxiety and dizziness, an example of one of these presentations can be feelings of being spaced out, or derealisation, in sufferers of balance issues.

Chronic dizziness can also impact multiple areas of a person’s life and in therapy we can address these areas that have become problematic such as socialising with friends, family relationships and general management of daily activities including domestic duties and/or work or study.