I don't know how on earth I missed this all these months but I was searching around on Google and I suddenly found that, in Sydney, there's this brilliant dizzy, rehabilitation centre - and it's right under my nose. These guys tailor a "get well" VRT program for patients. I'm calling them tomorrow. It's Dr Margie Sharpe in Sydney.
Thought I'd add to this - a first consultation is $AU220 and then $AU95 for a follow up.
Last edited by moderator2; 04-08-2004 at 05:12 AM.
Ive seen margie sharpe - just a quick note to not get too over-excited by her, I wasn't very impressed. I flew from perth to adelaide to see her because she told me there was no other people who do vrt is all of australia. I later found out she is in regular contact with a vrt person in perth!
Also the whole time I was there she was talking about her other patients and didnt seem very interested in me. But she did give me vrt exercises I havent seen elsewhere. Although I still have bad dizziness!
Thanks for telling me that....I was just discussing seeing her with my girlfriend when I read your message. Now I'm thinking it might be a waste of time (and $$). Can I ask what kind of exercises she gave you to do....were they fine-tuned for your particular problem did you feel? Don't like how you said she was talking about other patients all the time....how bizarre...and she charges like a bull as well. Did she do any balance tests on you?
To be honest scott, I'd reckon unless your having degenerating or dramatically altering symptoms and you've done the standard optokinetic (bouncing lights..) part of an ENG test (which is very good at ruling out central and visual problems) and you don't have other major neurological symptoms then any further testing on your balance would be a waste of time, especially if you don't have any hearing loss. Whether or not an abnormality is found then as long as it's stable then the treatment is the same - VRT.
As far as VRT goes, AFAIK there are no real rules however it's important to be aware that if doing a particular motion provokes symptoms which continue for more than a few minutes then your trying to do a far too complex exercises (which can be counter-productive...), simplify it (or slow it down) and slowly bring it up to speed over a few days/weeks. If you find that an exercise doesn't provoke symptoms anymore continue doing it every day for seven days then you can stop . For example if you have problems with shops, then start by going to smaller shops at quieter times of the day, then build up to "mall walking" in the early morning when the malls are quiet and slowly make it later and later until you can walk around happily at rush hour.
If you can't find any exercises that provoke you - find some,(ie head shakes, cart wheels, forward rolls, running 10 yards touching the ground turning round and running back and so on...)
The tests she did were all the usual ones - stand and march, eyes closed. Tested for bppv, walk across room, eyes closed. Nothing particularly new.
The exercises she gave me didn't seem to be particularly tailored as the were all on one sheet of paper, however I think she has different sets of exercises depending on what your problem is. But saying that, she initially told me I had vest damage, then changed her mind and told me it was a central problem (this was about $900 later! Not including travel expenses just appt costs). She would charge me $75 for a 10 minute phone conversation. Very expensive.
Billy - just wanted to ask you about VRT as you seem to know quite a bit. I find that I will do a exercise and find that one day I won't have a reaction to it and the next day I will. This happens with all of them. Any ideas??
Thanks again for this information. I'm not going to bother and really, my unbalance is quite mild so will just keep going with standard VRT as Billy pointed out (and so many others) and hope it eventually sorts itself out. Sorry to hear she charged you so much money Star, especailly for a 10 minute phone call!! That's just OTT...taking advantage perhaps of a person in a vulnerable position? Quite unfair.
star: I'm no expert, but you'd have to look at interfering factors - Other conditions such as Anxiety, other viral illnesses, lack of sleep, depression, eye problems, migraines etc (of course I'm not saying you have any of these but they can interfere with compensation).
Also on the days when you can't do the exercises so well have you already taken part in lots of activaties (and stired up your symptoms)? Or How about the days when things were better, I know that if I totally overdo things then I find my exercises at night a lot easier but basically earlier on in the day I'd totally overdone things and my brain had kind of "given up" or toned down the dodgy signals - unfortunately the next day I felt a lot worse for it.
The other thing to consider is whether the problem is stable or not (ie do you keep having sudden attacks). Though if your symptoms are not wildy fluctuating then it's unlikely...
Just for the record and the off chance it may be of some use to others in Oz St.Vincents Public at Darlinghurst has a Hearing & Balance Centre were they do all they tests, ENG,VEMP, etc. They also have a trained Neuro-physiotherapist Kathe De Latte (very experienced, very nice, Canadian I believe) who does the VRT therapy, Epley manouveres & Brand-Dorff exercises, in other words they do the lot. Referrals needed of course.
Good information....many thanks. I may check out that option instead. I have been to the dizzy clinic at RPA but never heard of any physios there who did VRT. Looks like Darlo might be the place to go for this.
Just quickly Scotsman I don't know if St.Vinnies has a neurotology dept as such or even a consultant neurotologist I've never got around to asking, my referring neurologist (St.Vinnies Private Clinic) is clued up on vestibular stuff. What he did say was they they were very lucky in that they had a very good & trained vestibular therapist in Kathe, as they're not many good ones about. The Hearing & Balance Centre seems to be mainly ENT's, but they have all the tests. Also rumour has it that the ear clinic (your dizzy clinic I think) at RPA is being closed down. It's all part of the push to improve hospital & health facilities.....shut them down!!!
Thanks again for that info too. Have you heard of a Dr Ell? He's supposed to be the neuro specialist at RPA dealing with dizzy stuff. He has a second office out at Bankstown. He's $180 to visit first time....don't think he'd say much I don't already know though. Might check out the VRT physio first.
I just saw this post and wanted to let you know that I flew from Melbourne to Adelaide to see Margie Sharpe when I had been dizzy for 4 months. Has she moved to Sydney??
Firstly, she spoke to me for quite a while on the phone and did not charge me. When I went to see her I was fairly "green" on the whole topic so I found the appointment comforting. She did all the standard tests and gave me VRT exercises which were different to any I'd seen on the internet or on this board. I was supposed to go back there after a few months and get 'upggraded' exercises but I never did because of the flight costs. I did phone her again however and she was happy to talk.
I do not regret seeing her as the VRT exercises gave me comfort. Maybe they didn't work, but I felt like I was taking charge of my illness at the time. Even now if I have a bad setback (which are not nearly as bad as they used to be) I'll pull out my checkered piece of cardboard an shake my head while focusing on the squares. At least I'm doing something!