DIZZINESSPart OneGENERAL MAP
Dizziness is a symptom that often leads the patient to the doctor because of the suffering and the everyday impairment. Dizziness is a disturbance of equilibrium. It is not a diagnosis, but a symptom that may be underlying various illnesses that require different therapies. Dizziness results from contradictory information of the sensory organs to the brain. The sense organs include the eyes, the balance organ of the ears and the position sensors of the muscles, tendons and joints. When conflicting information about the position of the body is sent to the brain, it creates the sensation of dizziness. When the cause of the dizziness is in the region of the organ of the equilibrium or in the brain, the patient has giddiness with an apparent rotational movement of their environment, or a vertigo with the feeling of losing the ground under their feet. The causes in this case may be diseases of the inner ear or in the brain / skull area, increase of intracerebral pression, circulatory problems or tumors.
When the cause of the dizziness is beyond the organ of the equilibrium, patients have the feeling of “blackening in front of the eyes”, the sensation of drowsiness and insecurity. The causes can be very diverse in this case:
– too high or too low blood pressure
– other diseases of the heart
– different circulation problems
– Problems in the area of the cervical spine
– problems of the eyes, changes in vision
– Neurological diseases
– Psychogenic causes
– Some medications can cause dizziness
– Intoxications: alcohol, various drugs especially tranquilizers and sleeping pills (frequent cause of fall in the elderly!)
– Intracranial pressure increase
The dizziness may be directed in one direction (systematic dizziness): rotary-, lift or oscillating dizziness or may be diffuse (no systematic dizziness): sensation of general insecurity.
Dizziness may be accompanied by other symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
As we can see, dizziness can manifest itself in different forms and can have various causes. Therefore, a thorough examination of the patient is very important to find the right therapy for the patient. In some cases the cooperation of different specialists is necessary.
Among the risk factors there are age > 65, female and dizziness in the past.