Vertigo & Dizziness

Michael Jaindl, MD -  - Otolaryngology

South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat

Michael Jaindl, MD

Otolaryngology located in Lehigh Acres, FL

Vertigo and dizziness affect up to 18% of children and 35% of adults. While it’s common to experience a single bout of dizziness or vertigo, recurring or severe symptoms should be evaluated by an experienced doctor like Michael Jaindl, MD, at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat in Lehigh Acres, Florida. To learn the cause of your dizziness and receive personalized treatment, call the office today.

Vertigo & Dizziness

What is the difference between vertigo and dizziness?

Dizziness is a generic term used to refer to the sensations of lightheadedness, disorientation, loss of balance, and vertigo. Vertigo is a unique feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning around. Vertigo is a type of dizziness, but the two have different causes.

What causes dizziness?

Your body uses several of its systems including your muscles, sensors, and your inner ear to maintain normal balance. Numerous health conditions can affect any of the systems and cause dizziness, including:

  • Inner ear infection
  • Migraine
  • Neurological conditions
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Low blood sugar
  • Certain medications
  • Low blood pressure

You may also get dizzy if you’re dehydrated or overheated.

What causes vertigo?

Vertigo develops due to problems in your central nervous system or your ear. Problems with your ear may include an ear infection or an inner ear disorder. But another condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo.

BPPV occurs when small crystals inside your inner ear break away and float in the fluid-filled semicircular canals. These canals help maintain your balance, but when the crystals disrupt fluid movement, you develop vertigo.

Vertigo is a symptom that arises from the inner ear or central nervous system. When vertigo arises from the inner ear the most common causes are:

  • BPPV
  • Viral infection
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular hydrops

When vertigo is the result of central nervous system problems, it’s due to:

  • Stroke
  • Migraines
  • Concussion
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Acoustic neuroma 

Disorders such as dementia can also lead to vertigo.

Does vertigo cause other symptoms?

While the sensation of spinning is the primary symptom of vertigo, you may also experience:

  • Headaches
  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Tinnitus or ringing in your ears
  • Feeling disoriented
  • Balance problems

Rapid head movements such as quickly rolling over in bed tend to trigger vertigo.

How do you treat dizziness and vertigo?

The team at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat may perform one of several hearing and balance tests to determine the cause of your dizziness or vertigo. One such test, electronystagmography, evaluates your balance and eye movement in response to different stimuli.

Treatment for your dizziness or vertigo is based on the underlying cause, so there are many possible therapies available. Your doctor at South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat may prescribe balance therapy or one of several medications to relieve dizziness and vertigo.

BPPV is often effectively treated by putting you through specific body movements that force the crystals out of the fluid-filled semicircular canals.

Sudden hearing changes and vertigo episodes from Meniere’s Disease will often respond to steroids directly into the inner ear.

If you have sudden, severe, prolonged, recurrent, or unexplained dizziness or vertigo, call South Florida Ear, Nose and Throat today.