Dizziness and faintness are common problems that in most cases are not indicators of serious health problems. It is important to look for a reason for these symptoms and attempt to identify treatable causes.
Vision, joint sensation and inner ear information are processed in the brain to give us a sense of motion, and where we are in space. If these sources of input do not match up, or there is a processing problem, we feel off balance. Often, the sense of spinning, or vertigo may indicate involvement in the inner ear or brainstem. Specific questions in the clinical history, such as those on our Dizziness/Vertigo Pre-Visit Evaluation Form, are the most important data when trying to identify the cause of the problem.
Hearing testing, balance testing, and radiographic imaging are often needed to identify treatable causes of vertigo. Most often, even if a specific cause cannot be identified, therapies can be initiated that will strengthen the balance system and reduce self-injury. These therapies may include physical therapy, assessment of fall risk, ambulation assistance, hearing rehabilitation, and referral for further cardiovascular, brain and neck evaluation. With proper management, the impact of an injury to our balance system can be substantially reduced.