I had an opportunity to work with a patient who traveled from the Northwest United States to San Diego to consult with me privately on his case of vertigo.
According to his wife, he was also experiencing memory problems which started at exact the same time.
He had been experiencing vertigo for over nine months, and had not been able to exercise or drive during that time.
He had seen multiple doctors and a physical therapist in his area who specialized in Vestibular Rehabilitation, but had not experienced any relief from his symptoms.
So he decided to make the trip to consult with me for another opinion with high hopes for relief from his vertigo.
While we were reviewing his medical history and current symptoms, he said, “Well my wife tells me that I am forgetting things and having memory problems that seem to have started after I woke up at 3am with the vertigo, but I am assuming that this is what it feels like to get old. My father had Alzheimer’s disease so I am worried that may be what is happening to me.”
I said, “Well, let’s see if your brain still feels foggy after we treat your vertigo symptoms because BPPV can cause impairments in short term memory and concentration. It is often mistaken for mild cognitive impairment or the beginning of dementia in people over 65 years old.”
His presentation was unusual, so I was not surprised that it was missed by so many other providers – even Vestibular Specialists.
I contacted him the next day to see how he was feeling.
He said, “I feel great! Not dizzy, not foggy and I am speed-walking down the hall turning my head left and right for exercise like you showed me. I don’t need any further visits.”
I was overjoyed that in just one single visit, his case of vertigo and memory problems had cleared up completely!
When I called him a week later to follow up, he told me “My wife says I am back! We had dinner with friends and I was able to keep up with the conversation. I am remembering things and getting back into my normal routine now that my head is clear and my case of vertigo is cured.”
We laughed together on the phone about how easy it was to fix his problem and I reminded him of the chance of recurrence of BPPV, along with the signs and symptoms of BPPV recurrence. He agreed to contact me right away if he experienced vertigo again, so his life was not so disrupted.
I will share with you exactly what I said to help him identify a recurrence of BPPV in my next blog post.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of the case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that I might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.