Dizziness (Dizzy) (cont.)

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How is dizziness treated?

Dizziness treatment

Dizziness is a symptom, not a disease, and treatment will be directed to the underlying cause. For example, dizziness or lightheadedness due to dehydration from gastroenteritis may require intravenous fluids and medications to stop the vomiting and diarrhea, while dizziness or lightheadedness from a heart rhythm condition may require admission to the hospital and specialized testing and treatment.

Vertigo treatment

  • Vertigo from inner ear problems may often be treated with maneuvers to reposition the crystals and debris in the semicircular canals. Repositioning techniques that can be helpful include the so-called Epley and Semont maneuvers, and the patient may be taught these to use at home.
  • Depending upon the reason for the inner ear inflammation, oral steroid medications to decrease that inflammation might be prescribed.
  • Over-the-counter or prescription medication is occasionally recommended or prescribed to help with vertigo. Meclizine (Antivert) may help with control of mild symptoms.
  • In patients with intractable symptoms and vomiting, intravenous diazepam (Valium) may be considered.
  • Patients with Meniere's disease or acoustic neuroma are usually referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist, ENT physician) for further evaluation and care.

REFERENCE: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th edition. McGraw Hill. 2011

IMAGES: 1. MedicineNet/Post RE, Dickerson LM (August 2010). "Dizziness: a diagnostic approach". Am Fam Physician 82 (4): 361–8, 369. PMID 20704166

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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/24/2014

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