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How Can Ear Problems Cause Dizziness?

Learn how ear problems can cause dizziness from Ronald A. Hoffman, M.D. in this Howcast video.


Dizziness is a very common complaint. When we say dizziness, we mean anything from light-headed, woozy, spacey, imbalance, difficulty walking, to the extreme of the room spinning around.

If you have dizziness and you are an adult, your first stop should be with your Internist. Because dizziness can be caused by a systemic illness, such as hypertension, or anemia or an arrhythmia of your heart.

Dizziness can be caused by a neurological problem, such as a stroke, or some brain disease. And so you want a physician to take a very detailed, very, very good history from you to be sure that no medically treatable problem is overlooked.

When your Internist fails to identify the cause of dizziness, they will oftentimes refer you to a neurologist for further evaluation, or perhaps to a Otolaryngologist .

The organ of balance is located within your inner ear, and as a result, you may find yourself in the otolaryngologist's office. When you present to the 0tolaryngologist , or the ear, nose and throat physician, the ear, nose and throat physician should be focusing on your related symptoms that may be associated with dizziness.

So, for example, the otolaryngologist besides asking you about the quality of your dizziness, the frequency of your dizziness, what makes your dizziness better, and what makes your dizziness bad, should be asking if you have ever had any ear infections, if you've ever had any ear surgery. Do you have a noise in your ear? Does your ear feel stuffy? Do you have a hearing loss? Have you had any recent head trauma? Does loud sound make you dizzy?

One of the very current diagnosis relative to dizziness, is that dizziness may be a reflection of a migraine headache. So you should be cognizant of whether you have migraine headaches, or whether there's a family history of migraine headaches.

In order to evaluate a patient who's complaining of dizziness, you will probably need a hearing test. You may need some balance tests, and you may need some medical imaging, which includes things like MIR scans and CAT scans.

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