Vertigo and Balance
Vertigo is the sensation that you, or the world around you, is moving. It is often difficult to describe the symptoms but some people experience spinning, rocking, wooziness, feeling faint, light-headed, or being off-balance. The feeling of vertigo can be different for everyone and can last from a few seconds to longer episodes of multiple weeks. Some people may find that lying down or focussing on a single point can help to reduce this, others may not.
Many people will experience vertigo in their lives, with 40% of people over 40 experiencing it at least once. Vertigo is generally caused by a problem with the vestibular system, an aspect of the inner ear, however, investigations by medical professionals are needed to uncover a diagnosis and establish a treatment plan. Experiencing an event of vertigo for the first time can be extremely distressing. Your first point of call is to visit your GP. However, in emergency situations, you should call 000 or present at a hospital. When visiting your GP, various investigations and interventions can be used. These may include blood tests, scans, and medications. If your symptoms do not resolve, your GP may opt to refer you to a specialist. These specialists often include Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons (ENT), Neurologists, and Audiologists. ENTs and Neurologists will further investigate your symptoms. They may also decide to refer you to an Audiologist for balance testing.
How we can help
At Heartsmart, our Audiologist Crystal will complete an array of balance assessments to determine the function of your balance system. These tests are non-invasive and pain free.
They involve the use of video-goggles and other electronic devices. A balance assessment can help to determine the exact nature and location of the problem within the vestibular system, which then informs treatment and rehabilitation options. Treatment for diagnosed vestibular disorders can include medications, surgery, and physiotherapy. Vestibular physiotherapy allows for rehabilitation and can help to gain confidence back after a period of serious vestibular attacks.The pathway from initial vertigo symptoms to diagnosis of a vestibular disorder is varied and involves many different medical professionals. At Hearsmart, we are here to help guide you on the pathway to reach a diagnosis and treatment plan.