Finding Balance in the Battle Against Vertigo
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from spells of dizziness, you may now take a sigh of relief. A new procedure called canalith repositioning conducted at the Center for Dizziness, Balance & Motion Sickness will eliminate this problem in 85% of patients. The medical term for this condition is Benign Positional Vertigo; it can cause people to feel nausea, lose their balance, and prevent simple normal activities from being accomplished.
At the Center for Dizziness, Balance & Hearing Loss, Dr. Jay Katz has been helping people lead productive and normal lives again without the use of any drugs. One patient states, “Don’t ask me what he did, even my husband was watching and even isn’t sure, but it’s wonderful.”
A graduate of Georgetown University Medical School, Dr. Katz trained in Otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat) at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and conducted extensive research on motion sickness at the University of Miami Dizziness and Balance Center.
By far, the most common cause of vertigo in people over 65 is benign positional dizziness that occurs while the person is bending over, looking up and lying down, Katz explained. It has been reported that balance related falls account for more than one-half of the accidental deaths among the elderly.”
To diagnose the patient’s dizziness and balance condition, Dr. Katz conducts a thorough office examination, which often includes hearing and balance tests. The balance system in the inner ear involves a tiny set of three semicircular canals, tubes of fluids shaped a bit like a scissors handle. The utricle is lined with nerve filaments, beneath a sticky pad of crystals. During the normal aging process the gravity-sensing crystals, called otoliths, are released from the utricle and work their way into the semicircular canal, where they float in fluid, head movements cause the otoliths to stimulate nerve endings, which results in vertigo, explains Dr. Katz. Once other causes of dizziness have been eliminated, he can proceed immediately with canalith repositioning.
The condition is treated by a simple in-office maneuver where the patient’s head is tilted in several positions in such a way as to remove this debris from the fluid in the inner ear, Katz states.
Canalith repositioning is a highly effective treatment and can be easily repeated if dizziness returns or is not completely eliminated the first time. While little known, this procedure is fully covered by Medicare and other types of insurance.
Dr. Katz also treats people with balance problems. Way too often, people are told “you’re getting older, what do you expect?”
But it is not a normal part of aging to lose your balance, Katz said.
Certain antibiotics or viral infections can damage the balance nerves leaving individuals with an insecure feeling when walking, especially when stepping off a curb, walking on an uneven surface, like pebbles or lawns and walking in the dark.
When balance problems arise, Katz said, people have a tendency to restrict their activity and then the brain doesn’t get enough stimulation to learn how to compensate for the injury.
Vestibular Rehabilitation and Balance Retraining (which is performed in our office) is very effective in restoring balance by a process of adaptation and compensation.
Dr. Katz also treats people with Meniere’s disease that is characterized by episodes of vertigo that last anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours and is also associated with hearing loss and ringing in the ears.
For more information on the treatment of dizziness and motion sickness, call
DR. JAY KATZ at the C ENTER FOR D IZZINESS , B ALANCE &H EARING L OSS at (561) 495-1960 .
Conveniently located at 5329 W. A TLANTIC A VE ., S UITE 204, D ELRAY B EACH , FL 33484 .