You may not be aware that vertigo and dizziness are two different disorders. In the simplest terms, dizziness makes you feel lightheaded, while vertigo makes it seem that the room is spinning and you’re off-balance. Both conditions happen in varying degrees, but when they become persistent, they can severely disrupt your life.
The skilled ENTs at Central Maine Healthcare are here to put you back on solid ground. We offer the latest tests to help identify the source of the problem, and we’ll work with you to create a personal treatment plan, which may include our dedicated inner ear (vestibular) rehabilitation program for lasting relief.
There’s no mistaking dizziness: you feel “woozy”, and, in severe cases, may actually faint. Some chronic dizziness patients report difficulty breathing, feelings of confusion, stumbling, nausea and slurred speech.
A number of factors can cause dizziness:
- Motion sickness or an inner ear problem
- Side effects of certain medications
- An underlying health problem, such as poor circulation or an injury
- Low iron or blood sugar levels
- Being overheated or dehydrated
We’ll diagnose your dizziness problem by testing your eye movements and balance, among other functions. Treatments may include prescribing a diuretic (“water pill”), as well as medications to help reduce nausea and other unpleasant symptoms.
Often found in the inner ear, vertigo typically causes the sensation that the room is spinning. Patients sometimes feel they’re tilting, off-balance or being pulled to one side, and occasionally experience sweating, nausea, headaches and ringing in the ears.
Vertigo can be traced to several different causes:
- Meniere’s disease, an illness marked by fluid and changing pressure in the inner ear
- Labyrinthitis, a disorder usually caused by a viral infection
- BPPV, a condition that results in tiny calcium particles clumping together in the inner ear
You might have a mild case. Some patients say they notice the room spinning, for instance, when they turn on their left side in bed—a brief feeling, passing after a few seconds. If your vertigo is chronic, the episodes can last longer and make it difficult to get through the day.
Personalized Therapy to Restore Balance
Whatever you’re dealing with, our ENTs can help you find the right solution, including referral to our specialized vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT). This outpatient program helps reduce symptoms and improve balance for people who feel unsteady when walking or standing, or experience dizziness, positional vertigo, lightheadedness, or spinning, and may have experienced a fall or loss of balance.
Our specially trained therapists will teach you specific moves and exercises that help readjust your inner ear. Often, this may be the only treatment you need to treat the problem and get back to your everyday life.