You're likely to first see your family doctor or a general practitioner. Eventually, however, your primary care doctor may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist, a hearing specialist (audiologist), or a nervous system specialist (neurologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, especially those you experience during an episode and make a note of how frequently episodes recur. Note how long each episode of spinning lasts as well as how long until you feel back to normal after an episode.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor, such as what's the best next step in your diagnosis or treatment plan. Also, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
Dec. 11, 2012
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to trigger your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..X0001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
- Meniere's disease. Vestibular DisordersAssociation. http://vestibular.org/menieres-disease. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
- Dinces EA, et al. Meniere disease. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 30, 2012.
- Lalwani AK. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=39. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Rauch SD. Clinical hints and precipitating factors in patients suffering from Meniere's disease. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 2010;43:1011.
- Heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest warning signs. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/Heart-Attack-Stroke-and-Cardiac-Arrest-Signs_UCM_303977_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
- Meniere's disease. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/menieresDisease.cfm. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
- Meniere's disease. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/balance/pages/meniere.aspx. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
- Potassium. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/potassium. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
- Sodium (salt or sodium chloride). American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Sodium-Salt-or-Sodium-Chloride_UCM_303290_Article.jsp. Accessed Aug. 31, 2012.
- Neff BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 18, 2012.
- Neff BA, et al. Auditory and vestibular symptoms and chronic subjective dizziness in patients with Meniere's disease, vestibular migraine, and Meniere's disease with concomitant vestibular migraine. Otology & Neurotology. 2012;33:1235.
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