Dizziness and Equilibrium

Dizziness and Equilibrium

Understanding Dizziness

Because dizziness is a subjective sensation without any truly objective metric to assess it, dizziness is a rather difficult condition to assess.  Dizziness results from a host of conditions cutting across a wide variety of disciplines in medicine. Thus, it is critical that clinicians very meticulously assess symptoms and thoroughly probe the patient’s medical history.  Once the underlying cause(s) of dizziness is identified, the evaluation and treatment protocols can vastly differ depending on the reason behind the dizziness.

Vestibular disorders Versus Other forms of Dizziness

While descriptions are not an end-all-be-all way to identify the root cause of dizziness, certain patient cues may point a diagnostician in the right direction.  Patients with vestibular disorders and true vertigo generally state an episodic spinning sensation with nystagmus, a feeling of rapid eye jerking, attributed to sensing that the environment is moving about them.  Thus, they often describe a motion sickness-like sense with an imbalance sensation of leaning to one side or the other.  Often times patients with vertigo complain of aggravated symptoms, including nausea, stemming from positional movement of the head.

Patient with dizziness rooted in non-vestibular issues typically describe an ongoing sense of spinning inside their heads without any nystagmus.  Lightheadedness or floating may be terms used to describe their dizziness.  Apart from orthostatic hypotension, in many instances non-vestibular dizziness is associated with movement in the visual field as opposed to positional movement of the head and nausea is typically less common. 

Differentiating Among Common Causes of Vertigo

Based on an in-depth analysis of your symptoms and history, our ENTs and audiologists will work hand-in-hand to determine the nature of your specific dizziness, whether its of peripheral or central origin, whether it is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease, of a vascular etiology, or of some other root origin.   

Treatment plan

At FOCUS Audiology, we provide you with comprehensive treatment solutions for dizziness, balance issues, and fall prevention. Working with our Potomac ENT physicians and our physical therapists at the Potomac ENT Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center, our team of Audiologists, ENT Physicians, and Physical Therapists identify the root cause of your balance issues and establish a multi-disciplinary treatment plan to resolve your condition.

Our initial consultation with an ENT helps diagnose your dizziness issues, our audiology team performs a hearing evaluation conjoint with balance testing via videonystagmography (VNG) to target the cause of your symptoms, and our physical therapists harness specialized maneuvers and techniques (Epley, Dix-Hallpike, etc.) to recalibrate your positional sense of stability while increasing your physical ability to maintain balance.