Vertigo

Vertigo is a condition in which the patient feels as if the world is spinning or the patient is spinning and the world is still. Vertigo is often accompanied by nausea and anxiety and visually identified by nystagmus (a slow drift of the eyes in one direction and a fast beat in the opposite direction). The most common form of vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and is relatively easy to treat.  It is usually corrected in as little as one to two visits. Infections to the inner ear (Vestibular Neuronitis or Labyrinthitis), Vestibular Migraines and Meniere’s Disease are other common causes of vertigo.

Light-headedness is the sensation that one is going to faint or “pass out”.  It is often brought on when changing positions from lying down to sitting or standing too quickly. It can be due to an inability of the brain to regulate blood pressure or heart rate adequately to deliver the appropriate blood and oxygen to the brain. Sometimes people with this condition have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardic Syndrome (POTS) or Orthostatic Hypotension. In addition to changes in blood pressure and heart rate, light-headedness can be caused by medications, nicotine, colds/flu, anxiety or hyperventilation.

Imbalance is when the patient feels unsteady or clumsy when standing or walking, has a challenging time walking in a straight line, and may find that they are holding on to things more or looking down more when they walk. Often, this can be caused by an inability to get information from joints, muscles, and soft tissues to the brain for processing where their feet are positioned, such as in diabetic neuropathies. Other times, it may be that the areas of the brain that process body and limb position, such as the cerebellum or parietal lobes, are not functioning appropriately and will cause the patient to be unsure of where they are spatially.

At Lancaster Brain and Spine, we specialize in the treatment of Vestibular Disorders, Dizziness/Vertigo and Concussion Injuries. Our doctors have advance degrees in neurology and mild traumatic brain injury and rehabilitation, as well as advanced education in vestibular rehabilitation. We also utilize the most advanced diagnostic equipment to evaluate and diagnose your condition.

Our testing and treatment for vertigo and dizziness include:

Videonystagmography (VNG) is considered the gold standard in examining vestibular function. Balance problems, dizziness, ocular motor dysfunction can be assessed through VNG as well as helping to examine many central brain issues.

Balance and Gait Evaluation: Balance and gait are dependent upon proper function of the sensory-motor systems, vestibular systems and visual systems and their integration within the central nervous system. Careful evaluation of these systems is important in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting balance and gait.

Eye Movement Therapy: We carefully observe all types of eye movement for abnormalities because their function touches nearly every aspect of the brain. We can then tailor a specific program of eye movements to improve the area of brain dysfunction specific to each patient.

Vestibular Therapy is a form of rehabilitation that helps stabilize a patient’s gaze, posture, balance and gait. Often, these exercises will include combinations of head and body movement in concert with eye exercises. Stable gaze, posture, balance and gait are so vital to our everyday function that many types of injuries, conditions, and disease processes can benefit from vestibular therapy.