Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How accurate is the information in the Spectrum?

A. It is as accurate as current medical knowledge will allow. However, you should be aware that this is a constantly evolving field. Even some of the most established disorders are being reviewed in the light of new research. It is clear, for example, that Ménière's Disease is a multi-factorial condition with varying symptoms and not a single disorder. Careful reading of the additional information attached to each disorder will reveal more about this.

Q. Can I use the Spectrum to diagnose my balance disorder?

A. You should only be diagnosed by a fully qualified medical practitioner. Diagnosing balance disorders can be very difficult. The information presented in the Spectrum merely summarizes published knowledge in a novel way. It is not a diagnostic tool.

Q. Can Hugill and Rea diagnose or treat my balance disorder?

A. Hugill is a patient, not a medical practitioner, and cannot offer any diagnoses or treatments. Rea is a medical practitioner, but access to him may only come through the usual channels (referral) and he will not respond to any online enquiry.

Q. What do I do if I have these symptoms and they are not getting better?

A. Initially see your GP. If findings related to your heart or nervous system are identified you will be referred appropriately to the relevant specialist. Most vertigo and disequilibrium is related to the vestibular system in the ear and you may be referred to your local balance centre, ear surgeon (ENT), or audiovestibular physician. For older patients it may be more appropriate to attend a "Falls Clinic" where medical problems can also be addressed. Many regions in the UK will have such centres.

Q. Where can I get more information about balance disorders?

A. The Ménière's Society is a good first port of call. They provide information on a range of balance disorders.

Q. Do you plan to expand this system?

A. Yes. This is very much the beginning. Specialist doctors will be working to greatly expand the information behind each click to form a readable and detailed resource both for patients and doctors. The computing team will also be expanding the way information is accessed. We also hope to develop a more complex symptom based diagnostic tool for you to use. Please watch this space!