HEARING MATTERS—What causes dizziness?

By CHERYL DAGNON
Everyone has had the feeling of dizziness. Whether it occurs after a few too many drinks or after you step off an amusement ride. But there are other times when the dizziness occurs when we are not so sure it is normal. These instances can last a few seconds, minutes, or even hours at a time. They can be quite severe or fairly mild.
The most common dizziness that we see is called BPPV. It stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Often times, your doctor will abbreviate it BPV, standing for Benign Positional Vertigo. It is the same dizziness, but just easier to say.
The dizziness is caused by crystals in your inner ear that are normally attached that become detached and cause abnormal movement of the fluid in your balance portion of your inner ear. It’s similar to throwing rocks in a pipe with water—when you move the pipe, the rocks cause the water to move abnormally. Similarly, the crystals cause abnormal movement of the fluid in the inner ear semicircular canals, resulting in vertigo. The treatment for BPPV is a certain repositioning maneuver to “get the rock(s) out of the pipe,” which is easily performed in the office.
Although BPPV is one of the most common types of dizziness, it is not the only type of dizziness. Dizziness can be caused by many different areas of the body and it is always best to see your doctor to determine if any tests are required to help diagnose your dizziness.
Call ENT Associates of New Hampshire for further information at 524-7402.

 

Cheryl Dagnon, MA,CCC/A, is an audiologist at ENT Associates of New Hampshire.