Vertigo is complaints of feeling dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated or confused. It can come on suddenly after a night’s sleep for no reason, but can also flare after a Covid-19 vaccine or after a cold and /or sinus infection. Dizziness can be mild to severe making it difficult to turn over in bed, transitioning from lying to sitting, sitting to lying, sitting to standing and walking. Our team of professional therapist will evaluate your vertigo to determine which ear is affected and treat your condition appropriately and timely to get you back on track. Vertigo can usually be corrected in 1 to 3 visits with the right diagnosis and treatment. You do not need a physician’s referral, but we will contact your PCP to communicate for continuity of care and your safety.
Call our office for an immediate appointment at 405-265-2255.
Vertigo-associated disorders. (n.d.). MedlinePlus – Health Information from the National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001432.htm
Our balance system helps us walk, run, and move without falling. Balance is controlled through signals to the brain
from your eyes, the inner ear (vestibular system), and the sensory systems of the body (such as the skin, muscles,
What should I do if I have a problem with balance or dizziness?
It is important to see your doctor if you have unexplained dizziness or balance issues. If you have any of the following other symptoms, be sure to seek emergency medical care:
• Chest pains
• Numbness or tingling
• Falling or problems walking
• Weakness in the legs or arms
• Blurred vision
• Slurred speech
• Sudden hearing loss
• Severe neck stiffness
• Head trauma or injury
• High fever
Dizziness and balance difficulties are symptoms of another problem. The first thing you should do is try to find out
the underlying cause. You should have a medical examination with special attention given to checking for problems
that can be associated with balance difficulties. Unfortunately, in many cases, the dizziness and balance
difficulties cannot be treated medically or surgically. In these cases, the balance problem itself may need to be
treated through balance rehabilitation.
What is dizziness?
If you experience light-headedness, a sensation of losing your balance, or a sense of feeling unsteady, you may be one of the millions of Americans who experience dizziness. Dizziness is one of the most common complaints and affects 20% to 30% of the general population. In fact, dizziness is a common reason that adults seek medical attention. When your balance is weakened, you may feel unsteady, woozy, or disoriented. You may have blurred vision or experience a sensation of movement. It may seem that the room is spinning (vertigo). You may not be able to walk without staggering, or you may not even be able to get up. Sometimes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, faintness, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, fear, and anxiety accompany the dizziness and balance problems.
Dizziness can be associated with a variety of conditions, including:
• Viral or bacterial infections, including ear infections
• Foreign objects in the ear canal
• Blood pressure changes
• Vascular problems
• A fistula (hole) in the inner ear
• Ménière’s disease
• Medicines or drugs poisonous to the ear or balance system (ototoxic medicines)
• Multiple sclerosis
• Visual disorders
• Tumors, especially of the vestibular portion of the eighth cranial nerve (known as acoustic neuroma)
• Head injury
What is vertigo?
Vertigo is a type of dizziness in which there is a sense of movement or spinning. Changing position, such as sitting up in bed, can make it seem worse. Nausea and vomiting may accompany the vertigo at times.
Balance system assessment is often recommended when a person has:
• Rapid, involuntary eye movement (also known as nystagmus)
• Complaints of vertigo or dizziness
Dizziness and Balance Compliments of
• Balance dysfunction
• Difficulty walking
• Suspected disease of the vestibular system
Tests of the balance system are performed to help determine:
• The cause of the symptoms
• Where in the balance system the problem is occurring
• What changes are happening in the balance function
• How vision, the inner ear, and other sensory systems affect functional balance
Some of the tests of balance can be done in the physician’s office or at the bedside in the hospital. Others require specialized equipment located in the audiology office or clinic.
Balance (or Vestibular) Rehabilitation
Your audiologic (hearing), balance, and medical diagnostic tests help indicate whether you are a candidate
for vestibular (balance) rehabilitation. Vestibular rehabilitation is an individualized balance-retraining exercise program. The retraining teaches compensations that may decrease dizziness, improve balance, and improve general activity levels. Many audiologists provide limited vestibular rehabilitation. However, other clinicians, such as physical therapists are trained to provide more extensive vestibular rehabilitation. Rehabilitation with a clinician who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation may be effective in minimizing or relieving some of the symptoms. This is especially true if the dizziness is caused by head movement, motion sensitivity, or certain positions. Rehabilitation is also excellent for recovery of balance and improving daily functional activities.
When should I see an audiologist?
Audiologists perform audiologic and balance assessment to gather information about your hearing and balance function. Test results help determine the possible causes of dizziness. Results of these assessments, in combination
with medical findings, will provide diagnostic information trained to provide more extensive vestibular rehabilitation. Rehabilitation with a clinician who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation may be effective in minimizing or relieving some of the symptoms. This is especially true if the dizziness is caused by head movement, motion sensitivity, or certain positions. Rehabilitation is also excellent for recovery of balance and improving daily
Sherri Boos, PT, DPT
Yukon Wound Care & Rehabilitation
Neck pain that sometimes follows dizziness and may be hard to figure out for practitioners if the dizziness and neck pain are connected or separate (Wrisley, 2017). Cervicogenic dizziness is difficult to diagnose due to non specific test to confirm a diagnosis. A correct diagnosis is provided to a patient when a neck injury or pain is reported along with complaints of dizziness (Wrisley, 2017).
Patients with cervicogenitic dizziness typically describe symptoms of dizziness during head movement or after remaining in position for a long period of time (Wrisley, 2017). I addition, patients may complain of imbalance that worsens with head movement.
Cervicaogenic dizziness requires a physical examination with complete medical history as symptoms may mimic other causes of dizziness. In an effort to achieve an accurate diagnosis your practitioner will perform specific test to rule out vestibular or central vestibular systems (Wrisley, 2017). Your health care provider may perform a test that causes nystagmus (rapid eye movement) causing dizziness symptoms along with nausea and vomiting. A positive test with subjective findings are usually positive, but false positives do occur.
Cervicaogenic dizziness frequently follows whiplash or head injury and is usually related to brain injury or inner ear injury (Wrisley, 2017). Most patients diagnosed with cervicogentic dizziness recover quickly with routine treatment on the neck using medication, gentle passive mobilization, exercise and posture correction. Patients that do not respond to conservative treatment may require additional vestibular therapy that encompasses eye exercise, balance therapy, walking etc. (Wrisley, 2017).
Sherri Boos, Pt. DPT
Wrisley, D. M. (2017). Cervicogenic Dizziness | Vestibular Disorders Association. Retrieved from http://vestibular.org/cervicogenic-dizziness