“Dizziness,” which may present differently from person to person, is a term patients and health care providers may use to describe feelings of faintness, unsteadiness and vertigo (the disorienting sense that your surroundings are spinning). Dizziness can be very uncomfortable and disruptive to your daily routine, which is why many people who experience multiple or regular episodes of dizziness seek professional care.
Why see an ENT for dizziness?
If you see your primary care provider for dizziness, you may be referred to a specialist, depending upon your doctor’s observations and evaluation. Some patients are referred to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist for more advanced diagnosis and treatment. ENT doctors are trained in treating diseases and disorders that affect the inner ear, which is often associated with dizziness, vertigo and imbalance.
What causes dizziness?
There are several possible causes of dizziness. In many cases, people who experience dizziness suffer from vertigo, which occurs when the inner ear attempts to reconcile confused signals with sensory input from the eyes and body. Other causes of dizziness related to the inner ear include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Ménière’s disease
Dizziness may also be caused by a drop in blood pressure, poor circulation, neurological disorders (including Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis), some medications, dehydration, anxiety, anemia and low blood sugar. Because there are so many possible causes of dizziness, it’s important to see a physician for an evaluation if you frequently experience dizzy episodes.
What tests should I have if I get dizzy?
During your ENT appointment, your physician will ask you about your symptoms, what medications you are taking, and a medical history. A physical examination may also be performed at this time. An ENT doctor may test your hearing, vision and balance with some simple in-office tests. A CT scan or MRI may be necessary in some cases, but not all.
What treatments are there for dizziness?
Dizziness treatment will depend on the cause of dizziness and your symptoms. Some patients may benefit from medications, including diuretics, certain antihistamines, anti-nausea medications and other drugs.
Head position maneuvers, balance therapy and psychotherapy are a few of the non-pharmaceutical options that may be available. Lastly, some patients may elect to have antibiotic gentamicin injections or surgery to disable balance function in the inner ear that is causing dizziness. In these cases, the other inner ear takes over balance function.
See an ENT Doctor Near You for Dizziness
Do you experience dizziness on a regular basis? Consider scheduling an appointment with an ENT doctor near you by calling 801-912-8270. ENT Clinic of Utah serves patients throughout the Salt Lake City area with locations in Magna and West Valley City, UT.