The evaluation of vertigo consists primarily of a medical history and physical exam.
The history is comprised of four basic areas.
- The doctor may want to know if the patient feels any sensation of motion, which may indicate that true vertigo exists. Report any nausea, vomiting, sweating, and abnormal eye movements.
- The doctor may ask how long the patient has symptoms and whether they are constant or come and go. Do the symptoms occur when moving or changing positions? Is the patient currently taking any new medications? Has there been any recent head trauma or whiplash injury?
- Are there any other hearing symptoms? Specifically, report any ringing in the ears or hearing loss.
- Does the patient have other neurological symptoms such as weakness, visual disturbances, altered level of consciousness, difficulty walking, abnormal eye movements, or difficulty speaking?
The doctor may perform tests such as a CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) if a brain injury is suspected to be the cause of vertigo.
Blood tests to check blood sugar levels and the use of an electrocardiogram (ECG) to look at heart rhythm may also be helpful.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/12/2016
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