Dizziness and Vertigo (Balance Services)

Normal Human Balance

Please click HERE for more information about vertigo on the ENTUK website

What Is Vertigo?

A sensation of rotation or movement of one’s self or of one’s surroundings is called vertigo. It is often used synonymously with dizziness. There are a large number of conditions that can result in dizziness or vertigo with an abnormality of an inner ear a common cause.

The majority of patients with symptoms of dizziness and vertigo can be cured.

Common Causes of vertigo and dizziness

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by debris within the inner ear balance organ. Attacks are intense and usually triggered by head movement. In the majority of cases BPPV can be cured by particle repositioning manoeuvres. Surgery is rarely required.
  • Vestibular neuritis, also known as vestibular neuronitis, causes a sudden drop in balance function in one inner ear balance organ. This results in intense vertigo that lasts hours to days. Once confirmed, patients benefit from balance exercises prescribed by a specialist physiotherapist.
  • Labyrinthitis is a term that describes a sudden drop in balance function in an inner ear in addition to an inner ear hearing loss.
  • Vestibular migraine is a common cause of dizziness and unsteadiness. It causes intermittent episodes that may last hours to days. It is essential to assess patients thoroughly as a number of other conditions may mimic it. Patients require a Brain MRI scan and benefit from specialist balance tests. In the majority of cases, this condition can be cured with lifestyle changes and medication.
  • Ménière’s disease, or endolymphatic hydrops, causes severe, sudden episodes of vertigo. These are associated with an inner ear hearing loss and tinnitus. A number of treatment options are available but grommet insertion with a steroid injection has been shown to be effective in over 90% of cases.
  • Multilevel vestibulopathy occurs when the inputs that drive the balance system are subtly affected. In combination this can produce unsteadiness and
  • dizziness. Patients are prone to falls. Treatment includes strength and balance exercises and a medication review.


Specialist investigations that can help with making a diagnosis include:

  • Hearing tests
  • Tests for balance also known as Vestibular function tests or Audio-Vestibular tests
  • An MRI Scan or CT Scan


In general, the majority of patients with dizziness and vertigo can be cured. Treatment is targeted on the cause of the balance problem. In some patients more than one problem is present and treatment requires a systematic or step wise approach to reach a cure.

On occasion, patients may also need a review by a Neurologist or Cardiologist.

Please click HERE for more information about dizziness on the ENTUK website.



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