Using YouTube to help patients

July 24, 2012 3:21:45 PM PDT
YouTube could be helping you and doctors treat a common cause of dizziness called vertigo.

University of Michigan researchers reviewed more than 3-thousand vertigo treatment videos on YouTube. The most popular was created by the American Academy of Neurology.

Specialists say it's accurate.

"It is definitely reputable and definitely well-done and I did view it myself," Dr. Erika Woodson of Cleveland Clinic said.

The videos demonstrate treatments like the epley maneuver. It's a well known, but often underused solution for vertigo.

The head and body movements are thought to re-position particles in the motion sensing canals of the inner ear. Those crystals are thought to be the cause of the dizziness.

The new report finds that 64% of the online video demonstrations are accurate.

The authors say they could be used to teach patients and doctors about the treatment, but should only be used with a doctor's advice, not instead of it.

"For people who like to dabble in self-diagnosis they may make their condition worse or we may be missing something that does need or require more medical evaluations," Woodson said.

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