Over 5 million patients a year consult with physicians regarding concerns of dizziness. Feelings of lightheadedness, instability, a spinning sensation, or a sensation of abnormal movement can indicate a balance disorder. Balance is controlled by various body systems. These include the inner ears, the eyes, the nerves and muscles in your extremities, and your brain. Information from these various systems is integrated and interpreted by your central nervous system. Your brain then sends messages to your extremities and muscles in an effort to keep your body appropriately oriented in space. Problems with any of these organ systems can result in balance difficulties. In addition, other organ systems such as your cardiovascular system can have abnormalities (such as arrhythmias and poor circulation) which can cause similar feelings. Certain diseases such as anemia and hypoglycemia can also be causes of disequilibrium as well.
Sometimes a diagnosis can be made with an office visit and a history and physical examination. More specialized testing may sometimes be necessary. It may include blood work, a magnetic resonance imaging study of your brain, and certain audiologic tests. Our practice employs both electronystagmography (ENG) and well as videonystagmography (VNG) equipment to better assess central nervous system functioning, as well as inner ear functioning, in patients with balance disorders. It is performed at both of our practice locations. Treatment for patients with balance issues may include physical therapy, medication, and rarely surgery.
To see Dr. Hoyt or Dr. Coccagna, please request an appointment.