We all experience dizziness from time to time. The sensation of being slightly disorientated or light-headed can be caused from standing too quickly after a long rest or riding a roller coaster. These symptoms may include:
- A sense of spinning
- Loss of balance
- A feeling of floating
When the symptoms of dizziness last for hours or days on end, or when dizziness causes you to lose your sense of balance, you should seek medical help from an ENT specialist like Dr. Bradford Ress. Once Dr. Ress examines your symptoms at our Boca Raton, FL clinic, he can diagnose and treat your symptoms.
Common Causes of Dizziness
During your exam, Dr. Ress will ask about your symptoms while examining your ears to diagnose the cause of your dizziness. One symptom he may ask about is called vertigo. Vertigo is the false sense that the surrounding environment is spinning. This can be caused by one of a number of inner ear disorders that cause the brain to receive signals from the inner ear that doesn’t match up with what the eyes are perceiving.
Many of our patients experience dizziness or vertigo while walking or moving their head. Some individuals experience nausea as a result of these symptoms. Risk factors for dizziness include advanced age and past episodes of dizziness.
A few of the more common causes of dizziness include:
- Blood pressure conditions
- Low blood sugar
- Certain medications
- Inner ear disorders
Dizziness is often caused by a problem within the vestibular system, often called our “balance” system. Located within the inner ear, the sensory system is responsible for helping us balance, maintain posture, and perform important motor functions. If Dr. Ress believes that you have an inner ear disorder, he may perform a number of tests, which may include a hearing test, eye movement test, Dix Hallpike maneuver (to test for vertigo), or videonystagmography (to test inner ear and central nervous system functions).
Inner Ear Disorders
There are multiple inner ear disorders that can cause dizziness.
- Meniere’s disease: This disease causes the buildup of fluid in your inner ear. Many individuals who suffer from Meniere’s disease experience long periods of vertigo. Hearing loss, tinnitus, and a fluctuating range of hearing are also characteristic symptoms of this condition.
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): Individuals with BPPV experience the false sense of spinning. This can be triggered by head movement.
- Vestibular: Also known as labyrinthitis, this viral infection brings on the effects of vertigo.
Less common causes of dizziness include acoustic neuroma (a benign tumor on the vestibulocochlear nerve), Cogan’s syndrome, systemic lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Depending on the cause of your symptoms, Dr. Ress may recommend:
- Medications: Diuretics, nausea medications, antihistamines, anticholergenics, anti-anxiety medications, Valium, and other drugs may be prescribed to address dizziness.
- Therapy: Head position maneuvers for vertigo, balance therapy, and therapy for anxiety may be useful treatments for dizziness.
- Surgery: Surgery is considered the treatment of last resort. If you can benefit from injections or surgery, Dr. Ress will discuss those options.
Begin Treating Dizziness Today
While occasional lighheadedness is a common experience, prolonged symptoms of lightheadedness and vertigo may be a sign that you are experiencing a serious medical problem. Dr. Ress has many years of experience and employs the most advanced diagnostic technology available. If you are ready to be relieved from dizziness, contact our Boca Raton, FL office online today or call (561) 353-7377.