Dizziness itself is not often a cause for concern and generally tends to pass after a few moments. However, it can persist and is caused by the delicate relationship between the inner ear, the eyes and brain.
We’ve asked one of our top ENT surgeons Mr Ibrahim Srouji to explain ear-related dizziness, when it needs to be checked by a specialist and how it can be managed.
When is dizziness serious?
There are many different and unrelated causes of dizziness, however, if your dizziness is caused by a problem in the ears, it is rarely serious.
This is provided you refrain from driving or operating machinery when the dizzy episodes are sudden and debilitating and whilst we are carrying out investigations.
Other non-ear causes of dizziness can sometimes be serious, and when you attend my clinic we will go through some basic tests to determine how likely this is.
What has dizziness been described as feeling like?
In general, patients who have experienced dizziness that makes them feel weak, faint, have an unclear vision or a headache, are unlikely to have an ear-cause. Patients who have movement-type dizziness like spinning, being on a boat or veering to one side when walking, may need to have their ears investigated.
Many people find dizziness extremely difficult to describe. Do not worry if this is the case for you, as when you attend my clinic we will carefully go through specific questions you may not have thought of. This will make the diagnosis clearer and guide your treatment.
When should I see an ear doctor?
If you have movement-type dizziness or your dizziness comes with an abnormal sensation in one ear, or your symptoms are mixed and you are not sure, you should book an appointment to see a specialist.
Your appointment will include a clinical assessment and some basic audiology (hearing) tests. This is because the hearing and balance organs are connected and the test can help reach a diagnosis even if you have not experienced a problem with your hearing.
At my clinic, following your initial appointment, I may recommend some helpful exercises or medications. Sometimes I will recommend scans or tests that look at the balance organ directly such as videonystagmography (VNG) and caloric measurements. All of these tests are available in one place here at the Mulberry clinic in Huntingdon.
Do not hesitate to book an appointment with Mr Srouji if you’re concerned about ear-related dizziness.