Your overall sense of balance involves contributions from the inner ear structures, the nerves in your feet and legs, your vision, and the brain which coordinates all of this information. A change in any of these systems may start to affect how you perceive your balance in the world surrounding you. The spectrum of dizziness may include a lightheaded feeling and nausea, to imbalance while walking, to seeing the room spinning around your head. The list of potential causes of the problem spans anywhere from disorders with the inner ear, to problems with blood pressure regulation, to problems with the nerves in your body, to depression and anxiety, or use of certain medications. At times, certain infections can also cause vertigo or imbalance, and at other times, the exact cause of the dizziness can never be determined.
If you experience new onset dizziness it is important for you to see your doctor. If your symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness or weakness of the limbs, slurred speech, facial weakness, severe headache, or a sudden change in hearing, it is important to be seen immediately.
Fortunately, dizziness often does not have to be a permanent problem. Your doctor may order a series of tests including evaluation of hearing, balance, and possibly some blood work to look into the cause of your problem further. Your doctor may also refer you to another specialty depending on the exact history of your problem, and what is found after a physical examination. Many times, balance disorders can be managed with physical therapy, or certain maneuvers to reset the balance organs in your brain.
Our doctors are fully trained in identifying and treating balance disorders.