Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates
Otolaryngologists and Head & Neck Surgeons located in Lawrence and Ottawa, KS
If you’ve never had vertigo, your first dizzy spell can be disorienting. Vertigo attacks are usually short, but if you have one, you should sit down immediately to avoid falling. Our doctors at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates have years of experience helping patients with vertigo overcome the dizziness, and treatment can be a simple maneuver done on-site. To learn what’s causing your dizziness, call or request an appointment online at one of our offices in Lawrence or Ottawa so that we can get your health back on track.
Vertigo Q & A
What is vertigo?
When you suddenly feel as if your surroundings are spinning, you are having a vertigo attack.
Many conditions can make the signals going from your inner ear balance organs to your brain to become unequal. Until the signals get straightened out, or your brain learns to ignore the unequal signals, you feel dizzy.
How does the most common type of vertigo develop?
Our physicians and nurse practitioner enjoy talking with each patient, taking time to explain the reason behind benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), but here is a quick overview.
Each inner ear contains three half loops filled with fluid that constantly detect how your head is positioned and send signals to your brain that help keep you balanced. BPPV happens when small chips of calcium that are naturally in the inner ear get loose and get stuck against an on-off switch of the balance loops. Then when you move your head, the switch stays on and continues to send signals to your brain that your head is moving even after you stop the movement.
What are the symptoms of vertigo?
A feeling that you are spinning or your surroundings are spinning when you are not moving is one symptom of vertigo.
Spells of vertigo can last for seconds to days. Clues that might help determine the cause include whether you also have:
- Tinnitus (ringing in your ears) or change in hearing
- Involuntary eye movements
- Nausea and vomiting
It is rare for vertigo to be the only symptom of a stroke, but if your vertigo continues beyond 30 minutes, go to the emergency department for an evaluation.
How do you treat vertigo?
Our doctors always customize your treatment, but if you have BPPV, a quick solution is available.
After we check to see whether the calcium crystals are loose, or stuck in one spot, we solve the problem by gently putting your body through precise movements that are designed to make the calcium chips move away from the on-off switch. That restores the normal function of the balance organ.
In rare cases, when repositioning doesn’t work, or another underlying factor causes your vertigo, we may recommend additional treatment.
To learn more about vertigo and get treatment for dizziness, call our team at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates and request an appointment.