The feeling of dizziness can be quite disturbing indeed. It can remove confidence to even walk a short distance without the fear of falling over or having an accident. Driving becomes impossible and associated symptoms such as nauseas or vomiting exacerbate the problem.
Inner ears are responsible for giving us the sense of balance and spacial awareness. Any condition which affects the inner ear can upset this finely tuned apparatus. There are many conditions that can manifest with unsteadiness or dizziness. These include benign positional vertigo due to a build up of crystals in the inner ear, Meniere’s disease (a disease where there is excess inner ear fluid), inflammation of the nerves going from the inner ear to the brain, leakage of inner ear fluid possibly as a result of sudden pressure exposure, migraine. Multiple sclerosis, lack of blood supply to the brain (vertigo basilar insufficiency), brain tumours, mini strokes and problems of heart rhythm.
The history of a patients symptoms often leads to a short list of possible causes. To help determine the exact causation the patients need further investigations of their balance and hearing function and possibly an MRI scan.
Dr Alam Hussain is an experienced Audiological Scientist and is part of Mr Patel’s practice. Dr Hussain has set up a diagnostic laboratory at his office, 11 Wimpole Street and provides a comprehensive audiovestibular service for patients with dizziness, tinnitus and hearing loss which may require hearing aids.