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"SO STONED" Mnemonic for Dizziness

Posted by Cynthia Ryan

Professors Floris Wuyts, balance specialist at the University of Antwerp, and Alfonso Bronstein, a neurologist from the Imperial College in London, have developed a mnemonic to help doctors more easily determine what type of dizziness their patient suffers from.

SO STONED Mnemonic:

  • Symptoms: Describe the symptoms. (vertigo, instability, dizziness, drunken sensation, tendency to fall, falling over, etc.)
  • Occurrence: How often do the symptoms occur? (Daily, weekly, monthly, irregular, etc.)
  • Since: When did the symptoms occur? (Several weeks ago, several months ago, after a flu, after a fall, fifteen years ago, etc.)
  • Triggers: What causes symptoms or aggravates them? (Head movements, bending over, looking up, laying down, turning over in bed, walking down the isles of a supermarket, watching vigorous movement, nothing in particular/spontaneously.)
  • Otological symptoms: Are there any ear related symptoms possibly accompanied by head symptoms? (E.g. tinnitus, hearing loss, a sensation of fullness in the ear, ear pressure, hyperacusis or sensitivity to sound.)
  • Neurological symptoms: Are there any neurological symptoms, possibly accompanied by head symptoms? (E.g. headache, migraine, light flashes, photophobia, phonophobia, difficulties in speech, loss of consciousness, syncope, tingling.)
  • Evolution: How did and how do the symptoms evolve? (E.g. worse in the beginning then better, worsening, constant, ups and downs.)
  • Duration: How long does the dizziness last? (Seconds, minutes, hours, days, continuously.)

Click here to read an article about "Dizzy Me," a guidebook about vertigo for patients and doctors by Floris Wuyts and Tania Stadsbader.

You can contact Floris Wuyts at [email protected].

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