Treatment at the Center
A critical factor in the successful treatment of dizziness and balance patients has been the emphasis on physical therapy rather than medication. Individualized physical therapy programs are developed for each patient to help decrease dizziness, improve balance, and restore the patient to normal activities.
The Dizziness & Balance Center is one of the few centers in the country to use a new diagnostic tool called the "EquiTest." The machine has made the diagnosis of dizziness and balance problems even more precise. Now physicians at the center can pinpoint the balance deficit and measure how the patient compensates for the deficit. As a result of the information received from the test an individualized treatment program is developed for patients that may include physical therapy, exercises, medication, psychological counseling and referral to support groups.
The Dizziness & Balance Center is one of the few comprehensive centers to diagnose and treat dizziness and balance problems which result from inner ear disorders. Using modern technology, the Center has successfully treated hundreds of individuals, many of whom had bounced from physician to physician in search of relief.
Although dizziness is the second most common complaint heard by physicians, it is one of the most ill-defined and misunderstood areas of medicine. According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, dizziness occurs in 70 percent of the population at some time. Balance problems trouble nearly 20 million Americans.
The Medical Team
What makes the Center different from other facilities that treat similar problems is the multi-disciplinary team of specialists that treat patients. Each member has extensive clinical background in working with dizziness and balance problems as well as the associated side effects. This comprehensive approach insures that patients will no longer have "to learn to live" with dizziness and imbalance.
The professional staff includes the center's founder, Jordan Waxman, MD, a neurologist, physical therapists, audiologists, and a psychologist.
The Dizziness & Balance Center is located in a nearby suburb north of Chicago. It is convenient to downtown Chicago and North Michigan Avenue and is easily accessible to O'Hare Airport via the tollway.
Most Commonly Asked Questions
What is dizziness? Dizziness is not a disease but a symptom of a problem. It is many different things to different people. For some it is a spinning sensation or an unsteadiness; for others a light-headed feeling or a loss of control.
What causes dizziness?
In 85 percent of the cases, dizziness is caused by a disturbance in the inner ear which may be the result of a head trauma, virus, bacterial infection, or use of certain medications, alcohol, or nicotine.
What are some of the most common symptoms of inner ear disorders?
Some of the symptoms include a change in vision, such as difficulty reading or poor depth perception, a change in hearing, motion sickness, disorientation, memory loss, headaches, fatigue or coordination problems.
What happens on my first visit to the Center?
A medical history is taken on all new patients and any old records will be reviewed. Next, a complete neurological examination is performed and a series of tests will be ordered to determine the problem and eliminate certain medical disorders as well as to confirm the diagnosis and possible causes of the symptoms. The physical therapist also may perform an evaluation.
Why is the Center different from other medical facilities?
The major focus of the Center is vestibular rehabilitation through physical therapy and exercises designed to decrease dizziness, enhance balance, and improve everyday activities.
Why is physical therapy so important?
Physical therapy helps patients improve their balance, decrease dizziness and restore normal functioning. Using a state-of-the-art diagnostic tool called the EquiTest, patients with dizziness are evaluated to determine which specific movements aggravate the dizziness. The EquiTest enables the Center's physicians to precisely measure the balance deficit and how the patient has compensated for it. Then exercises are developed that restore balance and improve coordination.
If I don't live near the Center, how will I be able to continue the physical therapy program?
The Center's physical therapists have developed special exercise programs for patients which is individualized based on the patient's specific problem. A patient from out of town or one who lives far from the Center can be referred to a therapist near home. The Center's physical therapists will provide telephone consultation to insure the continued recovery.
Why are some patients referred to a psychologist?
If a patient requires additional help in coping with the problems associated with dizziness, a referral is made to the Center's psychologist. The psychologist works either individually or in small groups to help patients deal with feelings of loss, lack of control, anxiety, and/or panic, or helps them cope with stress, frustration, or anger. Often using mental imaging or self-hypnosis, the goal of the sessions is to help restore the patient to a normal lifestyle.
Why is it so difficult to treat dizziness?
The primary reason is that individuals use their eyes, feet, and inner ear to maintain balance. If one of the three systems isn't working, a balance problem will occur. Therefore, it is necessary to first determine which system is not working properly before an individualized treatment plan is developed.