Experiencing dizziness symptoms for the first time can always be a bit harrowing, especially if you’ve never had them before. They can seemingly come out of nowhere. For the vast majority of my patients, the immediate response has been some variation of "It’s probably nothing and a one time thing."
The scary part is that for most people, it’s not just a “one time thing” and can be the symptom of a larger issue in the vestibular system, the system controlling balance in the body. The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) cites a study that finds that up to 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. In addition , eighty percent of people aged 65 years and older have experienced dizziness, with BPPV, the most common vestibular disorder, being the cause of approximately 50% of dizziness in older people (See more here). Statistics also show that a large number of people with disorders of the vestibular system go untreated because the symptoms go unreported to medical professionals. Patients just seem to brush off a vestibular episode as “just a dizzy spell.”
What I try to impress upon my patients is NOT TO WAIT. If you have never experienced dizziness symptoms before and are now experiencing symptoms, see a medical professional immediately, whether it be your regular doctor, and ENT, or a Physical Therapist that specializes in Vestibular disorders. They can quickly diagnose you and point you in the right direction with regards to possible treatment options.
These symptoms can be very scary, but Just remember, vestibular disorders are very treatable, especially with Physical Therapy conducted by a Vestibular Specialist. The first, and most important step, is acknowledging that an issue exists and searching for the appropriate medical care.