Dizziness is more common than most people think. In fact, it’s the second most common complaint people bring to their doctors (lower back pain is first). Fortunately, most causes of dizziness are detectable and treatable, especially with today’s sophisticated computerized diagnostics, vestibular rehabilitation processes, medicines and advanced surgical techniques.
Symptoms of Dizziness, Vertigo, & Balance Disorders
Dizziness doesn’t feel the same to all people, so it’s helpful if your physician knows exactly what you are experiencing when you report dizziness. Common symptoms include:
- Hearing loss
- Pressure or fullness in the head or ears
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Feeling as if you are moving when you're not
To some, it feels as if the world is spinning all around them, while others feel as if they are doing the spinning. Both of these forms of dizziness are called vertigo. Some people simply can’t maintain their balance, but have no other unusual sensations at all. Once again, it’s important that your doctor and audiologist know if these or any other problems accompany your dizziness.
Dizziness is a Symptom with Many Possible Causes
Dizziness can be a symptom of a variety of health disorders. When you report dizziness to your physician, the first challenge is to diagnose the underlying cause. Most common are vestibular disorders—problems in the inner ear, particularly in the vestibular system, which controls our sense of balance. Other underlying causes can be found in the central nervous system—the brainstem or brain — resulting from disease or injury. Or, dizziness may be a sign of a cardiovascular problem, like high blood pressure or anemia. Dizziness may even be a reaction to medications, especially to the category of antibiotics called aminoglycosides. Bacterial or viral infections can also produce symptoms of dizziness.
Diagnosing Dizziness, Vertigo, & Balance Disorders
The more specific you can be about when your dizziness began, when episodes are most likely to occur, and what sensations you experience; the more information your physician will have to develop an accurate diagnosis.
Sometimes, a specific cause for dizziness can’t be identified. But, by eliminating the more serious possibilities, you and your physician can confidently manage your symptoms and enable your body’s self-correcting capabilities to take effect.
The diagnostic process is both an art and a science — a partnership between you, your physician, and any other specialists, typically an audiologist, enlisted for diagnostic support.
Vestibular Testing with Our Maryland Balance & Dizziness Specialists
Hearing Professionals conducts several tests on the balance system to help diagnose the cause of vertigo or dizziness. If you experience balance issues, such as dizziness and/or vertigo, contact one of our Maryland hearing and balance centers.