Don’t let dizziness keep you down
Dizziness is a horrible sensation that can be disabling and dangerous.
Dizziness can interfere with every aspect of your life, making you afraid to leave the house or even walk to the refrigerator for a glass of iced tea. Do you find yourself:
- losing balance regularly?
- experiencing episodes of spinning?
- feeling woozy or lightheaded?
- afraid to drive or do other daily activities?
- suffering injuries or getting into accidents?
The good news is we can help. Most cases of dizziness are treatable.
The bad news is dizziness means different things to different people. Just saying you feel dizzy is not enough information to lead to a diagnosis and treatment. We need more detailed observations to determine whether dizziness is related to the inner ear or another part of the body.
For instance, some types of dizziness may include:
- Feeling faint, nauseated or vomiting
- Having a sense of moving, spinning, or tilting
- Feeling “fullness” in the ear or hearing a ringing or roaring
- Floating or a swaying sensation
- Having blurred vision or abnormal eye movements
Dizziness also can include vertigo, which is a spinning sensation. Vertigo makes you feel as if you —or your environment—is moving.
Treatment is available!
If you or someone you care about often feels dizzy, we can help. Before deciding on a treatment plan, we’ll review your symptoms closely and conduct a comprehensive diagnostic search for the underlying cause.
Don’t let dizziness keep you down. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What causes dizziness?
Dizziness can result from a variety of causes, but the most common are:
- Medications. Loss of balance can be a side effect of blood pressure pills and other medications such as sedatives, tranquilizers or “nerve pills.”
- Medical Conditions. Migraine headaches, anemia, and low blood sugar cause dizziness. Other contributing conditions are autoimmune or inflammatory in nature, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. In rare cases, vertigo can be a symptom of a brain tumor or stroke.
- Inner Ear Disorders. Ear infections and inflammation can cause dizziness and sometimes hearing loss. Acoustic neuromas also cause dizziness. These are noncancerous growths on the vestibular nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain. Another disorder, Meniere’s disease, also causes dizziness from a buildup of fluid in the inner ear.
- Heart-Related Issues. Various heart diseases, abnormal heart rhythms, or a decrease in blood volume may cause inadequate blood flow to the head or inner ear and result in dizziness.
How is dizziness diagnosed?
Patient history is the primary means for determining the cause of dizziness. Unfortunately, there’s no simple diagnostic test, because there are so many different causes. We must gather a detailed description of how the dizziness feels and when it occurs.
We start with questions like these:
- When did dizziness first occur and how?
- How long does a dizzy spell typically last?
- How often do they occur?
- Which activities are affected?
- What triggers the dizziness or makes it worse?
- What, if anything, decreases the dizziness?
- Does your hearing change or your ear feel full?
After gathering your detailed history with dizziness, there are a couple diagnostic tests that may provide additional insight in certain circumstances. A videonystagmography, also called a VNG, uses warm and cool air to assess whether the balance mechanism of the inner ear is functioning correctly.
We also may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to search for, or rule out, any tumors in the head that may cause dizziness.
How is dizziness treated?
To reduce the symptom of dizziness, we must treat the condition that’s causing it.
Because the causative conditions vary greatly, so do the treatments. For instance, if abnormal build up of crystals in the inner ear is causing dizziness, treatment can be as simple as a re-positioning maneuver, also known as an Epley Maneuver.
The treatments for other conditions are more labor-intensive, but can be equally effective at relieving symptoms. For elderly patients suffering from age-related degeneration of their balance systems, rehabilitative training can restore function and confidence.
Ultimately, there’s almost always a good treatment for dizziness if the right diagnosis is made. But because there’s no simple diagnostic test, you need a skilled physician who will commit the time and effort to solving your diagnostic puzzle.
That’s what we promise to do.
Don’t let dizziness keep you from living a full life. Contact us now to make an appointment.