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Is dizziness in my daughter a disease?

Q: My 11 years old daughter is experiencing a sort of dizziness. She feels that for 5-10 minutes people around her are walking fast and speaking loudly. She is conscious and can recognise things during that period. Six months back, this was infrequent but now she gets it very regularly. Is she suffering from any disease?

A:It would be important that you meet a neurologist so that a detailed history can be taken to exclude a disorder called "Alice in Wonderland Syndrome"(AIWS) which is a migraine-equivalent.

People experiencing episodes of AIWS report:

  • Visual distortions. Things seem to be bigger or smaller than usual, or to be closer, or further away.
  • Distortions of time. Events speed up or slow down.
  • Distortions of their own bodies. They feel their head is growing, or they feel their body has shrunk or elongated.
  • Balance problems. They may feel that they are standing at an angle, or that they are spinning. This can result in nausea.
  • Auditory distortions. Sounds seem loud. Voices sound aggressive or tremulous, or to be coming from a long way away.
  • Specific tastes or smells.
  • Distortions in perception of texture. Bedclothes may feel like stone. The floor may feel spongy.
  • Emotional experiences. They may feel inexplicably frightened, or that someone is watching them.

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