What is dizziness?
Dizziness simply means a feeling of unsteadiness or disorientation in space. This is described as some type of movement sensations in the head such as giddiness, lightheadedness, swimming, wooziness, or spinning sensations. Dizziness can increase your risk of falling if you lose your sense of balance.
What is vertigo?
Vertigo is a sensation of spinning. Often the room is spinning around you, but there are vertigo sensations where you can feel as if you are spinning in your own head without the room spinning. Vertigo can also increase your risk of falling if you lose your sense of balance.
What are the causes of dizziness and vertigo?
The sensation of balance requires many different body parts to work in concert, and disrupting any one of these parts can lead to dizziness or vertigo. Some typical causes include decreased blood flow to the brain (often caused by sudden standing from a sitting/lying position, but sometimes due to medications or dehydration), inflammation of the nerve leading to the inner ear, or calcium particles in the inner ear itself. Each of these causes leads to a different type of sensation, and is treated in a different way.
When should I be concerned?
Occasional momentary disruptions in sense of balance associated with sudden changes of position are usually benign. Any repeated or continued sensations of dizziness of any kind or vertigo that does not resolve should be investigated. Any of the above sensations associated with neurological symptoms such as loss of vision, numbness and tingling, or loss of consciousness should also be investigated immediately. Dizziness or vertigo that comes on without changes in position are also of concern.
What can be done about this?
The first step is to pinpoint the underlying cause of the symptoms, through a comprehensive neurological history and examination. At Midtown Neurology, we also use state of the art techniques (e.g. dynamic posturography, video nystagmography, calorimetric testing, and trans cranial doppler) to test each part of the balance pathway and clarify what problems exist. Once this underlying cause is identified, it can be appropriately treated with a customized regimen incorporating strength training, fall prevention strategies, sensory and motor balance re-training, eye-head coordination exercises, gait/transfer training, and functional dynamic activities to assist you in returning to daily activities and recreation.
Midtown Neurology P.C.