Most cases of dizziness and imbalance are not caused by problems in the ear. On the other hand, true vertigo (feeling of the room spinning) typically originates from the balance organs of the ear. Thus, only rarely does a vague feeling of being in balance is caused by an inner ear problem.
If you are feeing dizziness or imbalance, it is appropriate to rule-out inner ear disease by visiting your otolaryngologist. The work-up typically consists of an ENT examination and a hearing test. The physician will ask specific questions to understand the specifics of your balance issue. The physician will ask about the timing of dizziness or imbalance with other events (permanent, spell-like character, duration and frequency of the spells), the character (true vertigo, imbalance only, head-heaviness), possible accompanying symptoms such as ear fullness or nausea, and the presence of a hearing loss (permanent, progressive, fluctuating). Based on the your descriptions, your physician can figure out a potential cause.
Often, however, further tests may become necessary such as an MRI, a CT scan of the ear, and/or an inner ear balance test. The inner ear balance test, also termed videonystagmogram (VNG) or electronystagmogram (ENG), can provide your physician additional information about your inner ear balance function and the central connections in the brain.
Prior to your initial appointment for dizziness, please complete our questionnaire, and return either electronically, via fax, or via regular mail.