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Vertigo and Dizziness: A Brief Review

Vertigo and Dizziness: A Brief Review

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim one non-certified credit per hour for this non-certified educational program.

www.cfpc.ca/mainpro-manual
Teaser: 

Curtis M. Marcoux, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Dr. Pradeep Shenoy, MD, DLO, FRCS, FACS,
is the ENT service chief, Campbellton Regional Hospital, Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Abstract
Dizziness is the third most common symptom seen in patients of all age groups who present to emergency departments, outpatient clinics and physicians offices. Assessing dizziness requires a differentiation of potential causes through a comprehensive medical history and thorough physical exam. The most common causes of dizziness are peripheral vestibular disorders, however disorders of the central nervous system must be ruled out. Understanding how to distinguish between various underlying causes of vertigo is essential for the timely diagnosis and effective management of patients with this symptom. In this review, an overview of the epidemiology, etiology, presentation, diagnosis and treatment of the most common causes of vertigo will be presented, touching on some of the more rare determinants.
Key Words: Vertigo, dizziness, BPPV, vestibular neuronitis, Meniere's disease, vestibular migraine, vertebrobasilar insufficiency.

Etiology and Evaluation of Dizziness in Aging

Etiology and Evaluation of Dizziness in Aging

Teaser: 

Athanasios Katsarkas, MD, MSc, FRCS(C), Professor of Medicine, McGill University; Director, Dizziness Clinic, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, QC.

Dizziness is a frequent complaint in aging. Although a number of circumstances in everyday life may cause falls and injuries, such events are often due to dizziness induced by pathology. Dizziness as a consequence of more than one organic syndrome is not uncommon in the elderly. In addition, medication may further complicate the clinical picture. Such combinations may pose diagnostic challenges. This paper deals briefly with postural and gaze control in health and disease, how to take the history in dizziness, some peculiarities of the clinical examination, and the most common syndromes of brain stem or inner ear diseases that cause dizziness in general and, more specifically, in aging.
Key words: dizziness, vertigo, falls, vestibular dysfunction, brain stem disease.