Vertigo Specialist

ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA

Otolaryngologists & Allergy Specialists located in Sewickley, PA & Vanport Township, PA

Vertigo is a common problem, but you should never underestimate its potential impact on your life. The condition disrupts daily activities and causes time away from work in nearly 80% of people with vertigo. The experienced team at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA offers advanced testing to determine the cause of your vertigo and creates a customized treatment plan to restore your balance. If you experience vertigo, don’t wait to seek help. Call the office in Sewickley, Beaver/Vanport Township, Seven Fields, or Ohio Valley in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, or request an appointment online today.

Vertigo Q & A

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is a form of dizziness that makes you feel like you or your surroundings are spinning around. Along with the sensation of spinning, you may also:

  • Lose your balance
  • Feel disoriented
  • Feel nauseous
  • Have ringing in your ears
  • Have a headache
  • Have uncontrollable eye movements

Though vertigo is a type of dizziness, it does not cause lightheadedness.

What causes vertigo?

The cause of vertigo depends on the type of vertigo:

Central vertigo

Central vertigo develops from problems affecting the area of your brain that regulates balance. It includes conditions such as:

  • Stroke
  • Tumors
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Traumatic head injuries

Certain medications may also cause central vertigo.

Peripheral vertigo

Peripheral vertigo occurs when you have a problem with your inner ear or the auditory nerve that carries information from the inner ear to your brain. Possible causes of peripheral vertigo include:

  • Meniere’s disease
  • Inner ear infections (vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis)
  • Inflamed or damaged auditory nerve
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV, the most common cause of vertigo, occurs when calcium crystals (called canaliths) get into the fluid-filled tubes in your inner ear. The crystals interfere with fluid movement, which leads to vertigo.

How is vertigo diagnosed?

Your physician at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA begins by evaluating your medical history, symptoms, and medications you may take. After a physical and neurological exam, they may perform one of many specialized tests, such as:

  • Balance testing
  • BPPV testing
  • Eye movement testing
  • Comprehensive audiological testing (hearing tests)
  • Videonystagmography

Videonystagmography helps identify problems in your inner ear and nerve system by tracking your eye movements while changing your body position.

How is vertigo treated?

After identifying the cause of your vertigo, ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA develops a treatment plan that targets the underlying problem.

Your treatment may include therapies such as: 

  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Sensory organization training
  • Gaze stabilization exercises
  • Habituation exercises
  • Dietary changes
  • Intratympanic injections
  • Canalith repositioning treatment
  • Medications
  • Fall prevention

Canalith repositioning treatments involve several techniques, including the Epley and Semont maneuvers. 

During both techniques, your physician puts you through a series of body movements that change your head position. As you move, the crystals leave the tubes and go into an area of your ear where they don’t cause problems.

If you suffer vertigo or dizziness, call ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA or book an appointment online today.