Comprehensive Management of Dizziness in Elderly Clients

Sandra M. Nettina, MSN, RN, CS, ANP

Disclosures

Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal. 2001;1(1) 

In This Article

Abstract

Dizziness is a symptom experienced by one quarter to one third of older adults. Etiology includes a variety of central nervous system, cardiovascular, otologic, and sensory causes. One of the most common causes is benign positional vertigo, a peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Although benign positional vertigo and many other causes are not life threatening, dizziness from any cause can negatively affect the client's life and cause injury. Since the cause of dizziness may be difficult to diagnose, nursing management should focus on the impact of dizziness. Treatment strategies should include frequent monitoring to improve overall health or to deal with other conditions that may contribute to dizziness, safety measures to prevent falls, patient education about antivertiginous medications, and referral for vestibular rehabilitation. The advanced practice nurse (APN) plays a significant role in the assessment of dizziness and the reduction of its impact on the elderly client.

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