Expert Treatment And Diagnosis For Vertigo, Dizziness, And Concussion
Our Vestibular Physiotherapist, Kerra Quinn, PT has been practicing in the area of Vestibular Therapy for over 10 years and has seen first-hand how dizziness can present itself in many forms and varying degrees. She has also seen how quickly and effectively these symptoms can resolve with proper diagnosis and treatment!
The sensation of “dizziness” can be caused by a number of things including neck issues, inner ear problems (ie. vestibular system), medication effects, neurological issues, heart and blood pressure dysfunction, migraines, dehydration, blood sugar levels, etc. The first and most important step in solving the problem is to determine which one of these issues is causing the dizziness.
With her extensive knowledge and experience, as well as state of the art equipment, Kerra can determine the root cause of your dizziness. If it is determined that you are suffering from either vertigo or neck-related dizziness, Kerra has a number of extremely effective treatment techniques to get you feeling better quickly.
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1 In 3 Over The Age Of 40 Will Experience Dizziness Or Vertigo
Vertigo is not a condition, it’s a symptom. It’s like being diagnosed with a sore throat…instead of telling you that you have a bacterial or a viral infection.
So now that we know that vertigo is a symptom, what does it feel like? Vertigo is just one type of dizziness. It is the feeling, or sense, that the world is moving even when it is, in reality, perfectly still. A classic presentation is “rotational vertigo”, which feels like the world is spinning around you – the merry-go-round ride that you never asked for. This sensation is often caused by an issue in the inner ear called BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo).
For others, dizziness may feel more like a lightheaded sensation, “walking in a fog”, or a feeling like you’re going to faint, which is not considered vertigo.
“My Doctor Checked My Ears And They Looked Fine, So I Don’t Have A Vestibular Issue.”
When the doctor looks into your ear, they can only see wax build-up or irritation of the middle ear. However, when it comes to dizziness, we are dealing with the inner ear, or vestibular system.
Because your inner ear is hidden behind your ear drum, and is extremely small in size, we can’t just look inside your ear to see if it’s the cause of your dizziness. Instead, we use “Infrared goggles” to see if there is an issue with your inner ear.
Because your eyes and inner ear share some important reflexes, by watching your eyes using this technology, and putting you through some simple tests, we can help to diagnose your dizziness.
“I Tried Those Maneuvers On YouTube That Helped My Friend But They Made Me Worse!”
Oh Dr. Google, sometimes there is a love/hate relationship with having the world at our fingertips. Certain techniques have grown in popularity on the internet and claim to rid people of their dizziness or vertigo; the Epley and the Half Somersault Maneuver are two of the most popular ones. If completed properly, and for the correct condition, these techniques can be very effective.
The issue lies in properly determining:
- Is this a vestibular condition or is there another cause of the dizziness?
- Which ear (left/right/both) is the cause of the dizziness, if it is vestibular in nature?
- If a maneuver is required, which one should be performed?
Attempting to answer the above questions by yourself, and attempting to self-treat, will likely lead you to add more “fuel” to the dizziness “fire”. We suggest booking a proper Vestibular Assessment so the Vestibular Therapist can determine your diagnosis and the appropriate treatment to get you feeling better!
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Vestibular Therapy FAQ's
Here are answers to some of the commonly asked vestibular therapy and rehabilitation questions we get asked.
After a thorough assessment, we are typically able to determine the source of your dizziness and then develop a treatment program for you. We use a type of physiotherapy called Vestibular Therapy that can be very effective and is recommended over medication use for dizziness symptoms. Sometimes a referral is required to a specialist; we are able to determine this based on our clinical assessment and use of infrared goggle technology.
This is a condition where crystals within the inner ear move into a canal where they don’t belong. This causes dizziness that is called vertigo – which feels like a “spinning sensation” that happens with specific head movement like looking down/up, rolling in bed, laying on your back, or bending over. We use high tech infrared goggles to look very closely at yours eyes; they have a very close reflex with your inner ear. By watching your eye movement patterns we are able to diagnose which ear and which canal has the crystals in it. Then it’s as simple as turning your head in a series of movement patterns to get the crystals back into the area of the ear where they belong. You will be guided by your therapist to ensure proper technique, then advised on how to continue your recovery at home.
It depends on WHY you are dizzy. Treatment can take as little as 1-3 sessions for BPPV or several months if it is due to a concussion or inner ear infections. Every individual is unique and therefore, each treatment program is designed for the individual’s goals.
With our infrared goggles we are able to assess and diagnose a number of different dizziness conditions more accurately. Not to mention, our therapist Kerra is extremely experienced, and is the lead Instructor of Vestibular Rehabilitation and Concussion at the University of Western Ontario within the Masters of Clinical Science Program.