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Doctors Blog: A Challenging Case History of Vertigo

A Challenging Case History of Vertigo at COEM

The Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine (COEM) offers comprehensive and specialized treatment for vertigo. For more information, contact us today or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7510 North Forest Drive North Charleston, SC 29420.

A Challenging Case History of Vertigo at COEM in Charleston, South Carolina
A Challenging Case History of Vertigo at COEM in Charleston, South Carolina

The Cruise That Wouldn’t End (Or So It Seemed)

By Allan D. Lieberman, M.D.
In the summer of 1997, a middle-aged woman came to The Center with a most unusual history.
She was a cosmetologist working in a mall. One day she bought a raffle ticket for a charity and was pleasantly surprised when she learned that she had won a free cruise to the Bahamas. Concerned that she might get seasick on the cruise, she bought a medicated patch designed to prevent motion sickness and applied it behind her right ear.
Off she and her husband went on their five-day cruise. The sea was fair and she had a wonderful time enjoying all of the ship’s activities. She returned home delighted with the experience of her voyage. After arriving home, she realized she was still wearing the motion sickness patch, so she reached up and pulled it off her head. Within minutes, her head began to swirl and she rapidly became motion sick. The intense vertigo was soon accompanied by nausea and vomiting, forcing her to bed. She saw her family doctor the next day and he prescribed several medications. Despite these drugs, she continued to be violently dizzy and sick. She was referred to another specialist who prescribed a few other drugs, but nothing changed. Days turned into weeks. Despite consultations with four other specialists, the vertigo persisted.

After six physicians and eleven drugs, this poor woman came to our Center “as a last hope.” When I saw her, she not only had overt dizziness but also nystagmus, a condition that can accompany intense vertigo whereby the eyes continuously roll. Her eyes were jumping from side to side. She could barely stand. I literally could not look at her for long because her jumping eyes were making me dizzy! I apologized to her and took her history while looking away from her.

When my office nurse saw what was happening, she came over and whispered in my ear, “Would you like me to try and neutralize her?” I said yes and told the patient that while we continue talking, the nurse will give him a few tiny injections under his skin.

After about ten minutes of this sort of testing, the patient jumped up out of her chair and began screaming and dancing around the room. “The dizziness stopped!” she screamed and began to cry for joy.

We prepared an allergy extract with the neutralizing dose we found “turned off” her vertigo (and its accompanying nystagmus) and sent her home with instructions to use one drop of the extract if the dizziness returned and to continue using the vaccine as long as she needed to control vertigo. She continued the drops under her tongue for several days, with complete resolution of her six-week ordeal.

Magical? Yes but actually there is quite a bit of science behind our treatment of vertigo, as explained in Turning Off Ear Ringing and Dizziness. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 7510 North Forest Drive North Charleston, SC 29420. We serve patients from Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, North Charleston SC, Ladson SC, Hanahan SC, James Island SC, John’s Island SC, Daniel Island SC, all of South Carolina, Nationally, and Internationally. Patients routinely fly into Charleston to be evaluated by COEM and to enjoy this beautiful city which is a Condé Nast and Travel and Leisure Top Domestic and International Tourist Destination.