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Dizziness Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Dizziness. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had dizziness?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Is it true vertigo?

    Why: i.e. episodic sudden sensation of circular turning motion of your body or your surroundings - this is a sign of nervous system or ear disease.

  3. If not true vertigo, how would you explain your sensation?

    Why: e.g. lightheadedness, swimming, giddiness, unsteadiness, fainting - all known as pseudovertigo and are more likely to be a sign of cardiovascular disease.

  4. Is the dizziness episodic or continuous?

    Why: e.g. benign positional vertigo attacks are brief, usually lasting a minute, and then subside rapidly; Meniere's syndrome is characterized by paroxysmal attacks lasting 30 minutes to several hours of vertigo, tinnitus, nausea and vomiting, sweating and pallor and progressive deafness.

  5. What is the effect of position (of head or body) or a change in posture on the dizziness?

    Why: e.g. benign positional vertigo is a common type of vertigo that is induced by changing head position, especially tilting the head backwards, changing from lying to sitting position or turning to the affected side.

  6. Have you had a recent head cold or flu-like symptoms?

    Why: suggests vestibular neuronitis.

  7. History of trauma (even if trivial)?

    Why: would suggest post-concussion syndrome if head injury or cervical spine dysfunction if cervical spine injury. Some instances of benign positional vertigo are associated with disorders of the cervical spine.

  8. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. diabetes may cause dizziness due to hypoglycemic medications or from autonomic neuropathy, anxiety, depression, lung cancer ( the commonest brain cancer is a metastatic deposit from a lung cancer), heart attack, stroke.

  9. Medications?

    Why: e.g. antihypertensives (medications taken to lower blood pressure), tranquilizers, aspirin, salicylates, phenytoin, antidepressants, antihistamines, quinine, diuretics in large doses, glyceryl trinitrate - may all cause dizziness.

  10. Alcohol history?

    Why: alcohol may increase blood pressure or cause postural drop in blood pressure.

  11. Illicit drugs?

    Why: e.g. marijuana and cocaine may cause dizziness.

  12. Tinnitus or deafness?

    Why: if either or both are present and the ear examination is normal it may suggest a more serious ear or nervous system condition e.g. Meniere's disease, cholesteatoma or acoustic neuroma. If neither tinnitus or deafness is present may suggest benign positional vertigo or vestibular neuronitis.

  13. Hyperventilation (rapid breathing) during an attack of vertigo?

    Why: should consider hyperventilation syndrome.

  14. Visual symptoms?

    Why: may suggest multiple sclerosis.

  15. Nausea or vomiting?

    Why: may suggest vestibular neuronitis or increased intracranial pressure from a brain tumor.

  16. Heart palpitations?

    Why: various arrhythmias can cause dizziness or fainting such as Stokes-Adams attacks caused by complete heart block, aortic stenosis and myocardial infarction.

  17. Symptoms of depression or anxiety?

    Why: may suggest hyperventilation syndrome or a somatic symptom of depression or anxiety.

  18. Menopausal symptoms?

    Why: e.g. palpitations, hot flushes, night sweats - dizziness is a common symptoms in menopausal women and is often associated with these other symptoms.

  19. Headaches?

    Why: may suggest migraine, medulloblastoma (cerebellar tumor of childhood), other brain tumors, meningitis, meningoencephalitis, cerebral abscess or post head injury.

  20. Symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy?

    Why: e.g. strange disturbances of smell or feelings of unreality or undue familiarity (déjà vu) with the surroundings, visual hallucinations, absence attacks - may also present with vertigo.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Dizziness:

The following list of conditions have 'Dizziness' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Dizziness or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Dizziness:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Dizziness' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.

 

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