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The inner ear serves two purposes: hearing and balance. There are mechanisms in the ear that inform the brain about your position, orientation in space and movement and all times to keep you in balance. A false sensation of spinning or whirling, known as vertigo, can occur when the signal to the brain is blocked or misfires. In addition to the sensation of dizziness, symptoms may include headache, nausea, sensitivity to bright light, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, ear pain, facial numbness, eye pain, motion sickness, confused thinking, fainting and clumsiness.
Dizziness can also be a symptom of a more serious medical problem, such as high or low blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, tumor, medication side effect or metabolic disorders. Therefore you should always seek medical attention if you experience ongoing or repetitive dizziness.
Remember, if you're spinning like a top, FYZICAL is here to help you STOP! Find more information below on the main causes for dizziness.
Common causes of dizziness
An acoustic neuroma is a benign growth on the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain. Symptoms of an acoustic neuroma generally include progressive hearing loss and tinnitus on one side accompanied by dizziness or imbalance.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV):
BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals in the ears loosen and begin moving about the wrong part of the ear. It is characterized by sudden, short bursts of dizziness that happen most often as a result of head movement. There is no known cause for BPPV. It usually resolves itself in a matter of days. BPPV is a very common cause of dizziness. About 20% of all dizziness is due to BPPV.
Inflammation of the Inner Ear
Dizziness may be one symptom of an inner ear infection. Signs and symptoms of inflammation of your inner ear include the sudden onset of intense, constant vertigo that may persist for several days, along with nausea, vomiting and trouble with balance. These symptoms may be so severe that you have to stay in bed.
Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of vertigo. Vertigo is the feeling of spinning or losing balance. This disorder may also cause hearing loss, pressure in the ear, or tinnitus (a ringing, roaring or buzzing sound in the ear). These episodes typically last from 20 minutes to four hours.
To diagnose Meniere’s disease, hearing and balance tests will be administered. The tests we offer for diagnosis of Ménière’s disease include, Audiogram, Videonystagmography, Computerized Dynamic Posturography. Click on each of the testing(s) to learn more.
While there is no cure for this condition, there are different options that can help to reduce the severity and occurrences of vertigo episodes. There are anti-nausea and motion sickness medications that can lessen the severity of vertigo episodes. Diuretics may also help some people. Noninvasive therapies and procedures include vestibular rehabilitation or hearing aids.
Some migraines (vestibular migraines) can cause a feeling of imbalance and vertigo. This may be accompanied by ringing in the ears or hearing loss. Migraine-related vertigo may occur in conjunction with or separate from the migraine headache.
If you're experiencing any form of repetitive or chronic dizziness, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.
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