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    Can a doctor detect if a patient is faking vertigo?

Posted on Sat, 2 Jun 2012 in Brain and Spine
Question: Can a doctor tell if a patient is trying to fake vertigo and if so how?
My brother claims he's experiencing vertigo. If he goes to the emergency room and seen by a doctor, can he fake symptoms such that a doctor would be duped? And, for my own knowledge, I'd also like to know how to detect faking.
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later

Thank you for the query

1. Vertigo is a subjective symptom and there is no 100% test to determine malingering in cases of dizziness.

2. Inconsistencies in history and symptoms, absence of signs such as nystagmus, normal test results such as ENG (Electronystagmography) and VEMP (Vestibular Evoked Myogenoic Potential), Dynamic Posturography, Audiometry, and battery of other tests when present alert the experienced physician about the possibility of malingering in nearly all patients.

3. Tests for hearing loss malingering are well established. There has to be a motive or benefit for malingering. A detailed explanation of how to detect malingering is self defeating. Some 'trade secrets' are best kept under wraps.

4. Faking vertigo for long periods of time is not possible.

Hope this helps in answering your query. If there are any more concerns I will be available for follow ups.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Answered by
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

Otolaryngologist / ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2595 Questions


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