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Vertigo

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Vertigo is a condition that causes you to feel dizzy. You may think that you or your surroundings are spinning even though you are not moving.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Medicine may be given to help stop your dizziness. This medicine may help you stay calm and relaxed. Sometimes the medicine can make you sleepy. Medicine may also be given to treat symptoms caused by vertigo, such as nausea or a headache.

  • Antibiotics may be given to treat a bacterial infection.

  • Diuretics may be given to help reduce fluid buildup. You may urinate more while you are taking this medicine.

  • Steroids may be given to help reduce swelling.

Tests:

  • Blood tests may be used to check for infection or other problems that may be causing your vertigo.

  • A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, is a procedure used to remove fluid from around your spinal cord. The fluid will be tested for infection, bleeding around your brain and spinal cord, or other problems. Sometimes medicine may be put into your back to treat your illness.

Treatments:

  • Repositioning procedures involve moving your head in certain directions. This helps move the small particles which are out of place and causing irritation back into the inner ear.

  • Surgery may be done to rebuild or remove a diseased part of the ear. Pus in the inner ear caused by an infection may be drained. With recurrent infections, a tube may be placed in the eardrum to prevent another infection. Surgery may also be done to repair holes, correct fistulas, or cut the nerve of the ear. Vertigo that is caused by bleeding in the brain may be treated by removing blood clots and releasing pressure.

RISKS:

Infections that cause vertigo can go to the brain and may be life-threatening. You may also lose your hearing completely. Severe vertigo may make it difficult to do your usual activities and may affect your quality of life.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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