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Step 1 – Seek Qualified Medical Advice Early

 

 

 

Make an appointment

An appointment with a medical professional is an important first step.

Early diagnosis is important so that you can begin treatments that may help reduce the long term effects of your condition.

Seek qualified medical advice from an appropriate health professional, such as one or more of the following.

  • General Practitioner
  • Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Specialist
  • Neurologist
  • Audiologist
  • Vestibular Physiotherapist
  • Dietician

 

 

Choosing a health professional

Sometimes choosing the right medical professional can be difficult. So how do you find the right professional?

The starting point is normally your local medical practitioner, who after initial diagnosis will generally recommend and refer you to appropriate Specialists.

However remember it is your health. You can play an active part in your treatment and  in choosing Specialist to help you. If it turns out you are unhappy with the health care given, you have the right to seek a second opinion. This is not an uncommon experience.

Members can contact Whirled Foundation to find out if there are local health professionals that have a special interest in treating vertigo and dizziness.

Ways of making an informed decision about your health care;-

  • Talk to other people with your condition- our Member Forums are a good place to start!
  • Ask whether your chosen health profession have an interest in assisting patients with Vestibular Disorders?
  • Inform yourself about Vestibular disorder and potential treatment options.
  • Ask your doctor about treatment options, the benefits and harms of each option and how likely the benefits or harms are?
  • Prepare a list of questions you want answered.
  • Discuss practical issues such as billing arrangements, appointment times, travel times and convenience etc.

 

Preparing for your appointment

It is a good idea to take some time to prepare for your doctors visit. Visiting the doctor can sometimes be overwhelming. Furthermore once you finally get there, your symptoms may have disappeared.

Keep a diary of your symptoms so you can give specific details.

If you think you need more time to speak with the doctor about your condition than an average appointment time, ask for a longer appointment when you book.

Take pen and paper with you to the appointment so you can write things down if need be.

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to write down the main points that you need to remember.

 

Obtain diagnosis

Diagnosing a vestibular disorder can be difficult for health professionals as many other conditions share the same symptoms.

Your first port of call is usually your GP. Your GP can treat some balance disorders but sometimes you may need to be referred to a specialist – either an otolaryngologist (ENT surgeon) or a neuro-otologist (neurologist or ENT surgeon).

Blood tests, a CT Scan or MRI may be ordered to exclude other conditions which have similar symptoms. A full examination of hearing and balance is also required to get an accurate diagnosis.

Click here to go to Step 2 – Keep a diary of your symptoms

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