ZocdocAnswersShould people with vertigo carry canes?

Question

Should people with vertigo carry canes?

One of my daughters (age 13) has experienced several attacks of vertigo in the last few months. If they get more severe or more common, what will this mean for her lifestyle? I've heard that people with vertigo should carry canes so they don't fall, but that seems awful for a girl her age.

Answer

The immediate question that comes to mind is whether or not your daughter has been seen by a physician with regards to this problem. The next question is how your daughter has responded to these attacks of vertigo: has she fallen, does she have a warning period to prepare herself, etc? While there are many other questions to ask in response to your question, it is important that she be seen by a qualified physician, as vertigo can occasionally be a sign of other abnormalities. There are physicians that focus especially on vertigo, and would be able to answer all of your questions in great detail, and hopefully offer treatment options other than a cane for your daughter. But to answer your question--instead of just asking more--your daughter will need to do something to make sure that she is stable and does not fall. The risk of isolated vertigo is primarily related to the fall or lack of balance. A sudden fall can result in numerous injuries that could be severely debilitating, and so this risk needs to be reduced. One way to reduce this risk is by increasing stability, such as by using a cane. There are other methods as well, and physical therapists and occupational therapists, under the supervision of a physician, can often help with balancing exercises that also improve quality of life and decrease risk of falls. Again, the most important thought to emphasize at this time is that your daughter should seek qualified medical advice, both to make sure there is nothing more serious as well as to improve her life now and in the future.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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