What causes occasional dizziness in an elderly person while on Synthroid?
FURTHER INFO: She has no other symptoms during dizziness episodes; with stroke checklist of symptoms, she has none of them when I ask her. I also check her heart with my own portable AliveCore Heart EKG which reads "Normal" right after dizziness episodes. Pulse is roughly 70-75 during inactivity; roughly 80-85 right after dizziness episodes.Her family doctor who ordered the brain MRI mentioned that the report stated there were hardening of the arteries in brain... That brain MRI was done approximately 3-7 years ago.
Her case sounds like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) particularly since there are no other concomitant symptoms. The characteristic presentation of BPPV is as follows: the patient provokes the symptoms by moving his/her head (or the body and the head). The symptoms usually start after a few seconds and they don't last for long but they may reoccur with every movement. Sometimes the symptoms are severe enough to prevent the patient from getting out of the bed. Lying still usually eliminates the symptoms.
Your primary care physician or the ENT specialist can diagnose this disorder with the Dix-Hallpike test. This is a test that elicits vertigo by moving the patient's head and looking for nystagmus (rapid abnormal eye movements). Depending on the ear facing down and the direction of the eye movements the doctor can pick the right treatment which is another set of maneuvers on the bed (Epley's maneuver).
Regarding the findings you've mentioned on the radiological tests, they're quite common for patients of her age, so there's nothing in particular to worry about.
So in conclusion, the Dix-Hallpike test may be used to diagnose BPPV (if this is what causes her symptoms) and Epley's maneuver is the right treatment for it. Please note that the set of moves is different depending on the affected ear and type of nystagmus so there is nothing like "one treatment for all".
I hope you find my comments helpful!
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