n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Vertigo - a practical approach

Volume 30, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



'There can be few physicians so dedicated to their art that they do not experience a slight decline in spirits when they learn that their patient's complaint is giddiness. This frequently means that after exhaustive enquiry it will still not be entirely clear what it is that the patient feels wrong and even less so why he feels it.'

This is especially true in a busy practice. My aim is to provide some knowledge of basic anatomy and physiology, but, more importantly, a stepwise approach to a dizzy patient. Of course it is very easy to over-complicate or over-simplify this topic. However, by the end of this article you should be able to distinguish vertigo from other forms of dizziness. You will also be able to differentiate vertigo further into peripheral and central pathologies and advise the correct treatment options. It is estimated that approximately 90% of individuals over 65 years of age have visited their physician at least once with vertigo as their primary complaint. Complex cases should, however, be identified and referred to a specialised unit.

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