If you’ve experienced a sudden onset of dizziness that has disrupted your quality of life and daily routines, you’re not alone. Dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance contribute to 5 to 10% of U.S. emergency room visits, and that number goes up to 40% in patients older than 40. The good news is that functional neurology can help you identify the conditions that are causing your symptoms and implement the best treatment.
The vestibular system must work in harmony to promote balance and proper orientation in the body, and a mild concussion, infection, inflammation, or other disturbances to the system can lead to vestibular dysfunction. There are several inner ear and neurological conditions that can cause symptoms of dizziness, the most common of which are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and dysautonomia/POTS.
This type of vertigo is triggered by specific head movements. Calcium crystals called canaliths in the utricle part of the ear are used to detect movement. When they become dislodged and move along the ear canal, it causes disorientation and dizziness. In most cases, we can perform what’s called the Epley maneuver to move the crystals back to where they belong. Many of our patients will be able to repeat this maneuver at home after initial diagnosis and treatment.
Ménière’s disease is an autoimmune condition marked by episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing in the ear), and a feeling of fullness in the ear that is believed to be caused by fluid levels in the labyrinth area of the ear.
This condition is caused by inflammation of the inner ear that can cause pain, pressure, blurred vision, hearing loss, and vertigo. Though rare, it can be caused by a cold, flu, or other viral infection like COVID-19.
This is another inner ear disorder that can cause vertigo, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. It can also cause tinnitus and temporary hearing loss. The flu, inner ear infections, and even the virus that causes shingles and chickenpox can lead to vestibular neuritis.
With this condition, you may see “stars” or become dizzy when standing up or have an unusually high heart rate during light activity, heat intolerance, or nausea when in a hot bath or outside in hot weather. We treat this condition with physical therapy in which we work on retraining the autonomic nervous system and improving blood flow. This can include seated range-of-motion exercises, gradually increasing intensity as ability allows.
If you’re experiencing dizziness and balance problems, perhaps accompanied by headaches, hearing loss, or visual disturbances, talk to our caring professionals at Neurohealth Services. When we understand the cause, we can pinpoint areas of the brain in need of treatment and provide targeted rehabilitation to help you regain your quality of life and get back to your daily routines.
We use treatments ranging from specialized exercises that improve eye movement, coordination, and overall balance, to treatment tools including electrical stimulation and cold laser therapy to increase cellular energy and function.
A Discovery Day appointment can help us gain a comprehensive understanding of your symptoms and overall health in order to design a tailored treatment program to meet your needs. Call for a free consultation today: (317) 848-6000.