Balance and Vertigo

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Diagnosing a balance disorder can be a complicated procedure. Since dizziness and vertigo are symptoms of many conditions, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. Imbalance can be caused by abnormalities of the inner ear, the brain, or peripheral nerves in the spine or legs. Initial evaluation involves speaking with the patient to get a detailed history of the symptoms followed by a physical exam. Your doctor may perform a series of audiologic, vestibular and movement tests depending on your symptoms. Identifying the underlying cause and the type of balance disorder are both important in successful treatment.

Videonystagmography

Videonystagmography (VNG) is used to determine if inner ear functions are the cause of balance disorders. VNG is a series of tests that examine the involuntary movement of the eyes known as nystagmus. The movements are recorded through infrared cameras in the form of goggles placed over the eyes. VNG is one of the only tests that can determine if the problem is unilateral (one ear) or bilateral (both ears).

Electrocochleagraphy

Electrocochleagraphy (ECoG) is a diagnostic procedure that measures electrical potentials within the inner ear by stimulating sounds. This procedure may be performed to determine if there is an excessive amount of fluid pressure on the inner ear, often helping in diagnosing Meniere’s disease. During the ECoG procedure, several electrodes will be placed on the head, while a microphone and earphone will be placed inside the ear. A series of clicking noises will begin as the electrodes measure the body’s natural response. This procedure can be performed in your doctor’s office and takes about 40 minutes.

Dynamic Platform Posturography

Dynamic Platform Posturography (DPP) is a test performed to evaluate balance. The patient stands on a platform attempting to remain completely motionless. Over the course of the test, the platform will be moving in a number of different directions. The patient will keep his or her eyes open for portions of the test and closed for other portions. DPP can be helpful to determine if the imbalance is caused by abnormalities of the peripheral nerves, inner ears, eyes, and/or brain.

Treatment

Treatment for a balance disorder depends on its cause. Treating the underlying cause can eliminate balance problems for many people. For others, balance training exercises and life changes can help relieve symptoms. Managing these complex conditions requires inter-disciplinary care.

Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), a common form of vertigo caused by calcium particles in the canals of the inner ear. Patients with BPPV experience a brief sensation of tilting or spinning when neither is actually occurring. This often occurs when lying down or turning in bed. To diagnose BPPV, a physical exam is done, along with a test of the nervous system to detect communication issues between the nerves and the brain. While BPPV sometimes goes away on its own, recurrence is possible. The most effective treatment for BPPV is the Epley maneuver or canalith repositioning. The patient’s head is placed back in different positions to move the particles back where they belong.

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Balance Therapy

We partner with the Eisenhower Balance Institute, which is a premier site for the evaluation of a patient’s candidacy for balance therapy. Using the Balance Master SMART EquiTest system to assess each patient, physical therapists there can create balance therapy programs to meet each individual’s particular needs.

Dizzy Stop

We are a distributor of Dizzy Stop, an all-natural supplement that can provide relief from the symptoms of balance disorders including nausea, dizziness and motion sickness. Formulated from herbs, it is a safe, effective remedy that does not cause drowsiness. More information is available at Dizzy Stop.

Desert Ear, Nose & Throat

Address

71687 Highway 111 Suite 101,
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Monday  

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday  

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday  

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Thursday  

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Friday  

8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Saturday  

Closed

Sunday  

Closed