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Int J Clin Pract. 2008 Jan;62(1):109-14. Epub 2007 May 30.

Improving the quality of life in patients with vestibular disorders: the role of medical treatments and physical rehabilitation.

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Department of Otolaryngology and Head Neck Surgery, University of Pavia and IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.


Vertigo, dizziness and imbalance are the main symptoms of vestibular disorders. They can lead to physical consequences, such as reduced postural control and falls, to psychologic/psychiatric consequences, such as anxiety-depression symptoms, panic and agoraphobia, and to cognitive defects, especially in the elderly. Consequently, the general health status and the quality of life (QoL) of vestibular patients can be significantly impaired. Several questionnaires have been developed in an attempt to quantify the degree of handicap and disability, the self-perceived health status and the quality of life in vestibular patients with dizziness and imbalance. Additionally, the main goal of the treatments of vestibular disorders should be to control symptoms, reduce functional disability and to improve patients' QoL. This article reviews the physical and psychological consequences of the vestibular disorders, their impact on the patients' QoL, and the treatment options, including drug prescriptions and vestibular rehabilitation protocols. A profile of the compound betahistine and its efficacy on QoL indices in the treatment of Menière's disease and other forms of peripheral vertigo is also presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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