Etiology of dizziness among patients referring to an Iranian ear, nose and throat clinic
Background and Aim: Dizziness is one the most common complaints of patients in the emergency rooms. It has various etiologies and can lead to falling and other life-threatening injuries, especially in the elderly. Dizziness affects the quality of life and results in negative emotional reactions. This research studied the etiology of dizziness in a three-year study.
Methods: This study was conducted on 650 patients with the complaint of dizziness, whose specialists suspected them of having possible vestibular involvement, referred to a tertiary audiology clinic from 2015 to 2018. Videonystagmography, electrocochleography and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials were administered. Other medical tests including neurologic examinations, blood analysis, and brain imaging were performed based on patients’ complaints.
Results: This was a descriptive study of dizziness prevalence with different etiologies. Patients’ age range was 18-85 years with mean (SD) age: 42.34 (13.12), including 377 (58%) females and 273 (42%) males. Patients’ chief complaints included vertigo in 64.8%, dizziness in 20.2% and imbalance in 15.1%. Vestibular disorders were identified in 49.2% of the referred patients. The patients’ final diagnosis in order of prevalence were as follows: systemic involvement (292 cases), benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (187 cases), unilateral vestibular weakness (63 cases), endolymphatic hydrops (51 cases), bilateral vestibular weakness (37 cases), central involvement (20 cases), cervical (10 cases) and migraine-associated vertigo (8 cases).
Conclusion: About 49.2% of the patients referred to the ENT clinic had actual vestibular involvement. Careful history taking, teamwork, and comprehensive evaluations are necessary to differentiate underlying cause and selecting appropriate treatment.
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