The doctors at York ENT Surgical Consultants treat vertigo, a type of dizziness in which the patient feels a sensation of spinning.  Some patients with vertigo also experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, impaired balance or difficulties standing and walking.

Vertigo affects about 20-30% of the general population and accounts for approximately 2-3% of emergency room visits nationwide. Although it can happen in people of all ages, the prevalence of vertigo increases with age.

Symptoms

Vertigo often begins suddenly and some patients are unable to walk or get out of bed.  The common symptoms of vertigo include a sensation of spinning or motion while stationary, nausea, vomiting, and feeling off-balance.

Other symptoms include:

Causes

A thorough history and physical exam will be performed to determine the cause of vertigo.  Audiologic tests including a hearing test may be performed as well.  In addition, a CT scan or MRI may be ordered.  Vertigo is commonly caused by a disorder affecting the inner ear, such as a viral infection, displaced “crystals”, or a fluid imbalance.

Other causes of Vertigo include:

  • Injury to the ear or head
  • Concussion
  • Migraine headaches
  • Decreased blood flow to the brain
  • A benign growth behind the ear drum
  • A benign growth on the nerve that controls balance
  • Extreme alcohol consumption
  • Repetitive spinning
  • Dehydration
  • Medication
  • Motion sickness

Treatment

Appropriate treatment depends on several factors, including the cause of a patient’s vertigo, severity of the condition and the patient’s general health at the time they present with symptoms.

Treatment options include medication, home exercises, vestibular therapy and occasional surgery.  Many cases of vertigo will be cured on their own with out any form of treatment.