The prevalence of a Vestibular Migraine is more common as compared to other vestibular disorders such as Meniere’s disease and vestibular neuritis, particularly in women (women to men ratio is 5:1). According to the article published by Yuri Agrawal et al from John Hopkins University School of Medicine in J Vestib Res June 2013. “Vestibular Dysfunction: Prevalence, impact, and need for targeted treatment” is the first in a series on vestibular neuropharmacology and serves to establish why it is important to develop pharmacologic interventions to treat disorders of the vestibular system.

Using data from the 2001–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), it shows that 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older had evidence of balance dysfunction based on this postural metric. The odds of balance dysfunction increased significantly with age, such that 85% of individuals age 80 and above had evidence of balance dysfunction. Additionally, the odds of balance dysfunction were found to be 70% higher among individuals with diabetes mellitus. Dose-response relationships were observed, such that subjects with longer duration of disease and greater disease severity (as measured by Hemoglobin A1C levels) had poorer balance function. Moreover, patients with other diabetes-related complications, including peripheral neuropathy and retinopathy, were significantly more likely to have concomitant balance dysfunction.

Vestibular migraine appears to be the second most common cause of dizziness, behind Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. A survey of the German health system demonstrated a prevalence of vestibular migraine of 6–7% among patients who presented to a neurotology clinic and a prevalence of 9% in patients who presented to a migraine clinic.

The impact of vestibular disorders appears to be considerable, according to a German study on individuals with vestibular vertigo which reported interruption of their daily activities, and the need for sick leave or medical consultation in 80% of subjects. Another study evaluated the social impact of dizziness through the Social Life and Work Impact of Dizziness questionnaire administered to populations in Italy and England. Twenty-seven percent of subjects with dizziness reported changing jobs, 21% gave up work, and 50% reported reduced efficiency at work. Fifty-seven percent reported a disruption in their social life, 35% reported family difficulties, and 50% reported difficulties with travel.

Findings show that for vestibular disorders with well-defined pathophysiology, targeted, effective treatments exist. At Therapy Consultants, we can help pave the way for your recovery through these targeted treatments.

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