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New Guidelines to Improve Treatment of Inner Ear Disorder

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, (AAO-HNSF), benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is among the most prevalent conditions that trigger dizziness. It is the most common inner ear disorder that affects adults.

With BPPV, the patient experiences a variety of symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and vertigo. Sudden movements or abrupt changes in body position such as turning the head or standing up quickly can bring about these symptoms. While this condition generally affects people aged 50 or older, BPPV can also affect younger individuals.

Neil Bhattacharyya, MD, chairperson of the multidisciplinary BPPV Guideline Panel, said there are around 5.6 million medical visits every year in the U.S. for complaints of dizziness. But, he added, only around 17 percent to 42 percent of these patients will be ultimately diagnosed with BPPV.

“Unfortunately, proper diagnosis and treatment for those suffering is often delayed due to a lack of standardized diagnostic steps and relative unawareness of effective treatment options,” Dr. Bhattacharyya said.

The AAO-HNSF has set a new guideline for patients aged 18 and over. Its primary goal is to enhance the quality of care for BPPV through efficient and accurate diagnosis while decreasing the unnecessary use of medications or resort to ancillary tests like vestibular testing and radiographic imaging.

In the U.S., diagnosis and treatment expenses for BPPV reach about $2 billion every year. Moreover, around 86 percent of these patients experience interruption in their day-to-day activities and missed days at work due to this condition. With proper diagnosis, BPPV can be easily treated due to the availability of simple and effective solutions that can quickly address the symptoms.

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