What is your favourite thing about being a Vestibular Audiologist?
It’s kind of like detective work. You have all these pieces of a puzzle to put together; so that’s the clients overall health, their ear health, their balance and their musculature and we must put all of this together to hopefully find the cause of their dizziness.
If someone was to book in for a Balance & Dizziness Assessment and they are feeling nervous, what can they expect in an appointment?
It’s perfectly normal to be nervous as it’s not the kind of thing people have necessarily experienced before. Your initial consultation will take about an hour and half, firstly we would establish what your concerns are and do some initial testing of various parts of your balance system; including your hearing, this is because your hearing and balance systems are quite closely related to each other.
There are a couple of causes of dizziness that are both easy to detect and quite common. If we find one of these causes, we can treat it there on the spot. If it is something that’s a little more complicated and can’t be treated on the spot, we will do a range of screening tests to give us an idea of what further testing may be required.
We will be able to determine if the source of dizziness is coming from the ears and therefore, we will consider what further testing can be done to help you and how we can solve the issue. In some cases, where the dizziness is not originating from the ear, our testing may also indicate to us what other body system may be responsible. If this is the case, we will discuss the results and assist you in providing recommendations to the appropriate medical professional.
Do people experience pain or discomfort in their assessment?
The assessment is not painful. However, if you are coming to us actively experiencing dizziness, it may be inevitable that we could trigger your dizziness in the session. We clearly explain what each test involves, what you might expect and whether you are happy to engage in that testing. We also share what we hope to achieve with each specific test (there are no surprises).
Is there anything people need to do to prepare for this appointment?
You can do two things, avoid alcohol 24 hours before and no big meals leading up to your appointment. You are not required to obtain a referral prior to this assessment.
Do you have a favourite success story to share?
I saw a client a couple of months ago for Ear Wax Removal and when we were discussing her main concerns as part of that appointment, we enquired about how her balance was and if she was ever affected by any balance or dizziness. The client said “Yes, for a number of years!” and has always struggled to get out of bed quickly. She would need to steady herself for a few minutes before getting out of bed in the mornings because she was experiencing a spinning sensation – Vertigo. After her wax removal, I performed a quick assessment of her dizziness which showed us she had a problem with “crystals” in her inner ear system, which is easily treated. I was able to perform the treatment on the spot. On this occasion, only one treatment was needed, and her dizziness was resolved and she hasn’t had it back since.