Dizziness is usually a symptom and not a diagnosis unto itself. It can be caused by any number of disorders and is generally classified into one of three different types:
- Vertigo - a sensation that you are your environment is moving or spinning
- Syncope (fainting) - a brief loss of consciousness or a feeling of being lightheaded
- Dysequilibrium - loss of balance or coordination, especially with movement
The symptoms may range from mild to severe, they may be intermittent, and more than one type of dizziness may be present. The problem may originate from the inner ear or from another area of the body or nervous system. Dizziness is a leading cause of visits to doctors and emergency departments, especially for elderly patients. Dizziness can have a very significant impact on a person’s quality of life and may greatly limit a person’s freedom or independence. The list of possible causes for dizziness is long, and includes inner ear disorders, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), metabolic disorders, tumors, trauma, and medications. The correct diagnosis can only be determined by a consultation with a doctor, and the correct diagnosis can be elusive. True vertigo often, though not always, originates in the inner ear. Inner ear conditions which may cause vertigo include positional vertigo, Meniere’s disease, and viral inner ear infection.
At the Shea Ear Clinic, our physicians specialize in making the correct diagnosis for your dizziness or balance disorder and on recommending the best course of treatment. Treatments are tailored to the individual and may include medications, procedures, or physical therapy.