Dizziness is the distortion of the perception of space; vertigo is a special type of dizziness, which induces a sensation of spinning around.
Dizziness is a symptom of a variety of diseases that can cause imbalance or even falls, among other things. Thus it may frequently be a serious health hazard, especially in the aging, causing injury and occasionally long-term disability, and additional financial burden to healthcare systems.
A new study presented at the 2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO reveals that contrary to previous hypotheses, no single entity is the root cause of dizziness in the elderly. The study, which included more than 3,500 patients (over 70 years old), seeking treatment at a Montreal Dizziness Clinic, determined that the main causes of dizziness could be attributed to psychogenic and systemic disease, as well as to use of certain medication.
The results of the study indicate that although dizziness in the elderly may be aggravated by other ailments, such as poor vision, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, or muscle weakness, etc., the causes of dizziness in the elderly appear to be the same as in younger patients. Physicians should consider the study's results when examining and diagnosing patients complaining of dizziness.