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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
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MY WIFE HAS SUFFERED DIZZY SPELLS FOR OVER 25 YEARS.SHE IS

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MY WIFE HAS SUFFERED DIZZY SPELLS FOR OVER 25 YEARS.SHE IS NOW 77 YEARS OLD AND HAS SEEN NUMEROUS DOCTORS AND HAS HAD SCANS.THE ONLY INFORMATION WE HAVE AFTER ALL THAT IS THAT IT MIGHT BE THE MOVEMENT OF CRYSTALS IN THE INNER EAR AFFECTING HER BALANCE.COULD THIS BE THE CAUSE AND IS THERE A SOLUTION TO HER PROBLEM?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Daniel Sheibley, MD replied 2 years ago.
Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Hello

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Has she actually been referred to an otolaryngologist?

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

They will prescribe therapeutic head movements for her to deal with and minimize symptoms from what you described as crystals in the inner ear. Otherwise there are other causes of dizziness

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

She needs to have an ekg to see if she has an arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation can come and go and when present results in decreased efficiency of the heart in pumping blood. This decreased efficiency and decreased blood to the brain can cause dizziness and lightheadedness

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

She also may need to have a tilt-table test to see if she has orthostatic hypotension - which is a disorder where people aren't able to compensate with increased heart rate quickly enough when the stand or sit up and therefore the amount of blood reaching the brain decreases for a short period of time causing dizziness which will resolve.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

If she has had CT and MRI examinations of the brain then they likely ruled out any localized sinus or ear infection that could cause her symptoms.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Also, if she is on any medication for high blood pressure the most commonly found and likely reason for her dizziness is that she is being overmedicated. As people age their doses need to be addressed. It is not uncommon for people to need lowering doses of antihypertensive medication as they age. This actually is what happened with my grandfather. After lowering his dose of a medication his dizziness and "odd feelings" and tiredness improved completely

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Any time you decrease blood flow to the brain you can worsen any balance issues or dizziness.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

So she needs an EKG, to have her orthostatic blood pressure taken in the office, if needed after that a tilt-table test can be ordered, and also if on antihypertensive medication she needs to have her doses reassessed by her physician if there is any way to decrease them with short-term followup to make sure her blood pressure remains managed despite a decrease in medication.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

That is the best place to start from.

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Does that sound like something you can do? Does that answer your question/did I provide good service?

Daniel Sheibley, MD :

Hello?

Expert:  Dr. David replied 2 years ago.
This is Dr. David

it sounds like she could have a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo which is of the most common causes of vertigo and dizziness.

the cause of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is unknown, but it is thought that the crystals in the otolith structures in the inner ear could be dislodged and this could be the cause of her dizziness.

there is an epley maneuver that her doctors can try to see if this helps her with her dizziness symptoms

you can read more about the epley maneuver here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epley_maneuver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja-0DHpBfqk

I would talk to her doctors about this Epley maneuver and see if they can help her with this and see if this helps her vertigo symptoms

let me know if you have questions.
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 45248
Experience: Board Certified Physician
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