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Paul asked...

Two months ago I had a bad case of vertigo

Two months ago I had a bad case of vertigo. It came on in the evening and lasted for the following day and then gradually went away over the next two days. I had a further attack approx one month later which was very similar. After a third attack I consulted my GP who did various blood tests and an ECG. All have come back normal. Also for the past 4or5 weeks I have had a low level headache for most of the time though it is rarely very bad. My GP thinks something is triggering the attacks and I am now keeping a food diary for two weeks when she has said she will consider a referral to an ENT specialist. I do not think the attacks are triggered by food as on previous occasions I had not eaten anything out of the ordinary. The vertigo comes on when lying, sitting or standing and is not triggered by head movement though attempting to bend down can make it worse. I am concerned it may be something quite serious, do you think I should press my GP for a brain scan or is a referral to an ENT specialist the next logical step? I am a fit 59 year old with no other health problems, I eat reasonably well and take plenty of exercise. Thank you.

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The answer

Dear Paul,

We thank you for your question.  There are a number of conditions that can present with vertigo.  Vertigo is an unpleasant sensation in which you or your environment around you is moving or spinning and this sensation can be very debilitating.

Common conditions that have the sensation of moving or spinning are:-vestibular neuronitis, labyrinthitis, benign positional vertigo, Menieres disease, eustachian tube dysfunction and vertebrobasilar ischaemia.  There are rarer causes of vertigo but it would appear that your General Practitioner is going to refer you onto an ear, nose and throat consultant.  Referral onto an ear, nose and throat consultant is a very logical step and this consultant  can  then organise the most appropriate diagnostic tests, including magnetic resonance imaging of the brain where clinically appropriate.  We hope that the following information is helpful.




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