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Vertigo Specialist

Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. -  - Otolaryngologist

Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC.

Otolaryngologists & Audiologists located in Kittery, ME & Stratham, NH

It only takes a brief episode of vertigo to interrupt your day and make you feel disoriented. When the problem recurs or lasts for an extended time, your risk of falling or having an accident increases. The experienced team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. accurately identifies the cause of your vertigo and develops an individualized treatment plan to help you overcome the problem. If you need help with vertigo or dizziness, call the office in Kittery, Maine, or Stratham, New Hampshire, or book an appointment online today.

Vertigo Q & A

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is a type of dizziness that makes you feel like you or your surroundings are spinning. Along with the characteristic spinning sensation, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Loss of balance
  • Disorientation 

Vertigo typically occurs suddenly, and the attack may last a short time or go on for days, depending on the underlying cause. 

How does vertigo differ from dizziness?

Dizziness involves sensations of lightheadedness, loss of balance, and vertigo. The top causes of dizziness include:

  • Inner ear infection
  • Ear disorders
  • Migraine
  • Allergies
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Low blood sugar
  • Certain medications

Everyday stress and dehydration also make some people feel dizzy.

What are the different types of vertigo?

There are two types of vertigo, and they each have different causes:

Peripheral vertigo

This type develops due to a problem in your inner ear or the vestibular nerve. For example, you might have an infection, an inflamed nerve, or Meniere’s disease.

Meniere’s disease causes vertigo when excess fluids accumulate in the inner ear. This condition also causes hearing loss and recurring episodes of vertigo that can last from 20 minutes to several hours.

The most common type of peripheral vertigo, however, is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). BPPV develops when calcium crystals end up in the fluid-filled tubes in your inner ear that maintain your balance. As the crystals affect the fluid’s movement, you develop vertigo.

Central vertigo

Central vertigo originates in the central nervous system when an illness or injury affects the area of your brain that regulates balance. Problems that cause central vertigo include:

  • Migraine
  • Stroke
  • Tumors
  • Concussion
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Certain medications

You can also develop symptoms such as double vision, difficulty swallowing, and facial drooping.

How is vertigo treated?

Your provider at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. completes a physical and neurological exam and orders diagnostic tests as needed to verify your diagnosis. Then they create a customized treatment plan that may include:

  • Epley maneuver for BPPV
  • Medication to reduce symptoms
  • Medication to suppress inner ear activity
  • Balance therapy or vestibular rehabilitation
  • Lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of stroke
  • Intratympanic injections

People with vertigo have a higher risk of falling. Consequently, your provider can offer recommendations to help you prevent falls.

If you struggle with vertigo, don’t wait to get help. Call Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC., or schedule an appointment online today.