Do you ever feel like the room is spinning or become very lightheaded? These spells might also be accompanied by wooziness and disorientation. If so, you may have a condition called vertigo. Vertigo causes a sensation that you are off balance and causes a variety of symptoms, such as the ones mentioned.
Fortunately, the experts at Georgetown ENT can diagnose and treat vertigo when it stems from an ear problem. So, what types of treatments can you expect?
Testing for Underlying Conditions
Before recommending any treatment, your ENT doctor will ask about your symptoms in detail and perform a physical exam. Your doctor will also order diagnostic testing to determine the underlying cause. This will include hearing, balance, and blood tests, as well as imaging.
Your ENT can recommend ways to keep you safe during episodes of vertigo. This is to avoid falls and injuries. For instance, your practitioner may recommend you sit down as soon as you feel dizzy instead of powering through a spell. It may also help you to rise slowly when getting up from a seated position. While you are having a spell, your doctor may suggest you use a cane in order to have some support balance. This is a great tool to help prevent you from falling and injuring yourself.
Medications to Relieve Symptoms
If your vertigo is chronic, your physician may prescribe medications to manage it, such as ondansetron (Zofran). Benzodiazepine tranquilizers like diazepam, clonazepam, and lorazepam can sometimes help, as well. These drugs amplify the action of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain. This naturally occurring amino acid inhibits specific signaling in your brain. This reduces activity in your nervous system. By enhancing its effects, certain parts of your nervous system are less active. Ultimately, this treatment can reduce the severity and frequency of your vertigo episodes.
Medications to Treat the Underlying Problem
Sometimes, the treatment approach consists of your doctor getting to the root of the problem. For instance, if you have Meniere’s disease – a condition that causes vertigo and may stem from fluid build-up in your ear, you may receive a prescription for a diuretic to reduce the fluid. Your ENT may also recommend you decrease your sodium intake.
Your doctor may recommend you undergo rehabilitation to work on your balance. You’ll learn exercises to improve your balance as well as techniques to help compensate for balance problems. Additionally, your practitioner will teach you how to cope and adapt to having less balance.
Your practitioner may prescribe oral steroids like dexamethasone and methylprednisolone. They’re given on a temporary basis, and your doctor will taper you off of them slowly.
Gentamicin classifies as an antibiotic. However, when used for vertigo, its mechanism of action isn’t to treat an infection. It treats vertigo by acting as a toxin to your inner ear’s cells. Your practitioner will inject it into your ear, and it’ll target the cells that may be affecting your balance.
Your doctor may refer you for surgery. One of three options may be used. One focuses on alleviating fluid in your ear. The other consists of a surgeon removing the portion of your ear responsible for the problem. With the third option, the surgeon disrupts nerve communication between the balance and movement sensors.
Why Choose Our Ear Doctor in Georgetown, TX
At Georgetown ENT, Dr. Scott Franklin routinely treats vertigo patients. We understand how detrimental vertigo can be to your quality of life, so we make every effort to treat it quickly and effectively.
Stop the unpleasant spinning of vertigo today by booking an appointment with Georgetown ENT, serving Georgetown and the nearby region. Call us at (512) 869-0604, or fill out our appointment request form.