Dr. Helen

Do You Feel Dizzy?

I have suffered from dizziness for most of my life and it seems to get worse when I get a cold or virus. This WP article describes some of the symptoms and causes of vertigo:

Indeed, researchers described a new disorder of the vestibular system as recently as 1998. In that condition, called superior semicircular canal dehiscence, an opening in one of the canals of the inner ear causes vertigo and/or auditory disturbances.

To the afflicted, vertigo — along with related symptoms such as ringing in the ears or hearing one’s own eyes blinking — is vexing, and the sensations are difficult to describe. “Patients can feel isolated and alone,” says Cynthia Ryan, the executive director of the Vestibular Disorders Association, based in Portland.

Vertigo and dizziness are hard to get diagnosed and hard to treat. It is frustrating and there seems to be no clear cut treatments that work for everyone. The man in the WP article who suffers from vertigo can hardly even pursue his hobbies such as duck hunting:

Meanwhile, it’s duck hunting season in Wisconsin. My brother-in-law will go, as he has done most years of his life, but he doesn’t expect to bring home a bird. The three-dimensional coordination needed to swing a gun and shoot at a moving object exposes his balance deficit to the max.

Doctors never seem to take quality of life issues very seriously. I wish researchers would.