It’s estimated that more than half of adults worldwide suffer from episodes of dizziness or vertigo, a related condition that makes it feel like the room is spinning around you. Yet even though dizziness is common, many people who suffer from dizziness don’t get the medical evaluation or treatment they need to feel better.
Dizziness isn’t just uncomfortable — it can also lead to accidents like falls, the leading cause of injury-related death among older Americans. That means getting help for dizziness is especially important, not just for your quality of life, but for your health and safety, too.
Dizziness is often related to a problem with your inner ear, which has a direct influence on balance. At ENT Specialists, our team specializes in advanced diagnostic testing and state-of-the-art treatment for dizziness and vertigo at our locations in Salt Lake City, Murray, Tooele, Draper, and West Jordan, Utah. Here’s how your ears could be causing your dizziness symptoms.
Dizziness and the inner ear
Dizziness symptoms typically occur when one or more parts of your balance system are affected by disease, injury, or another problem. For many people, dizzy sensations emanate from their inner ear, which plays a major role in balance.
Your inner ear doesn’t just help you hear. It contains tiny hair cells and fluid-filled canals that help you keep your balance. When these cells, canals, or other structures in the inner ear are damaged, it can have a direct effect on your balance, causing sensations of dizziness and vertigo.
When dizziness is caused by a problem with the inner ear, your brain doesn’t receive correct information about your body’s position. As your body tries to interpret the information, you wind up feeling dizzy or like the room is spinning around you.
Sometimes, dizziness is also associated with hearing loss or a continual buzzing or ringing in your ears (a condition called tinnitus). Inner ear infections and Meniere’s disease are two possible causes of dizziness associated with hearing problems.
Some people have a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. In this condition, you’re more likely to feel dizziness or vertigo when you make a sudden change in head movement or when you stand up suddenly. BPPV can also occur following a blow to the head.
Dizziness can also be caused by problems with your eyesight, your brain, and other underlying diseases. Some types of medications can also contribute to sensations of dizziness. Before prescribing any treatment for dizziness symptoms, the team at ENT Specialists performs an in-depth exam and evaluation.
During your evaluation, you’ll be asked to provide details of your symptoms — when they occur, what they feel like, and how long they last. You’ll also be asked about your personal and family medical history and about medications you might be taking. Finally, our team will ask you about any recent illnesses, past injuries, or other symptoms associated with dizzy spells, like nausea, headache, or vomiting.
In many cases, you’ll be given a hearing test, and you may have diagnostic imaging studies, like X-rays or MRIs. Other tests may also be conducted, including:
- Blood tests
- Vision tests
- Tests of your inner ears
The doctor may also examine your throat and your sinuses, which are “connected” to your ears.
Depending on the results of your exam, your treatment might include:
- Balance exercises to restore your natural equilibrium
- Treatments for underlying medical conditions
- A change in medications
- Treatment for infection, of present
- Medications to help manage your symptoms
Don’t ignore your dizziness
Feeling dizzy might seem like a minor annoyance, but without treatment, chronic dizzy spells could increase your risks of accidents and serious injuries. At ENT Specialists, we can customize a dizziness treatment just for you, based on an in-depth evaluation and diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. To get treatment for your dizzy feelings, call one of our five Utah locations or book an appointment online today.