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DIZZINESS

Dizziness is nothing more than an altered sense of position. We gain our sense of position from what we see, what our inner ear tells us and what we feel. When the brain either receives inaccurate position information or the brain interprets the position information inaccurately, the individual will have symptoms.

Symptoms of dizziness vary and may be described as a sense of spinning, light-headedness, or loss of balance or equilibrium. The symptoms may be continuous, intermittent or related to position change. Multiple disorders of the inner ear or its pathways to the brain may result in these related symptoms. This includes Meniere's Disease, vestibular neuronitis, labyrinthitis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome and tumors such as acoustic neuroma. Hearing loss may often accompany these disorders.

When these symptoms are present, the individual should undergo a neurotologic evaluation. In additions to a thorough history and physical examination, an individual with symptoms of dizziness may require a hearing test, balance studies, such as electronystagmography (ENG or VNG), platform posturography and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP), and radiographic imaging such as magnetic resonace imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT).