Understanding Vertigo: May 15, 2019

Blurry vision, anxiety, hearing changes, and imbalance, together, they are all signs of vertigo.

“Disconcerting to have these symptoms and not know where to start. Vertigo is a type of dizziness. A lot of people say I have dizziness, and there can be different definitions. So what we use as a definition is vertigo is an illusion of movement,” said Nathalie Grondin, a physical therapist with Lee Health.

That illusion can cause patients to experience visual problems, hearing problems, cognitive problems, psychological problems, even physical problems. “The physical problems that are easier to see, imbalance, people can have a pain in their neck and body because they are tensing up to try to hold themselves up, coordination is also an issue, and also navigation,” said Grondin.

To address all vertigo symptoms, patients may need to see different specialists. “There’s not one health care professional that takes care of all vertigo problems. A lot of times for vertigo, a good thing is to start with a primary care physician who then perhaps would send them over to an ear nose and throat doctor,” she said.

Physical therapists can also work with patients to help them manage their vertigo symptoms.  “When they come to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist, we try to figure out what provokes their typical symptoms and give them the necessary exercises to target their issues,” Grondin said.

Depending on what’s causing vertigo, would determine the type of treatment and outcome for each patient. A diagnosis that with the right help can improve over time.