Care and Treatment for Dizziness & Vertigo
Why Choose Treatment for Dizziness & Vertigo at University of Colorado Hospital?
The Ear, Nose and Throat practice at University of Colorado Hospital is the premier referral center for balance disorders in the Rocky Mountain region.
Our team of specially trained physicians (otolaryngologists), nurses, audiologists and therapists provide you with the highest level of care possible.
Our specialists not only provide quality medical care, but are also involved in teaching and research, which keeps them at the forefront of new techniques and developments.
What are Dizziness & Vertigo?
Vertigo is the name for a spinning sensation that occurs even when you are holding perfectly still.
There are two types of vertigo: subjective (with eyes closed, you feel that your body is whirling in space) and objective (with eyes opened, you feel that the world is whirling about).
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) occurs when you experience a sense of spinning after moving your head in a certain way, such as raising it quickly to look up.
Vertigo and balance disorders
Vertigo is often a symptom of a balance disorder. These disorders can be caused by inflammation, infections or fluid imbalances and leakages in the inner ear.
Infections of the vestibular nerve, which controls balance, can also produce vertigo. Our specialists will determine the underlying cause of your balance disorder and prescribe the most effective treatment for it.
Getting a Second Opinion about Dizziness & Vertigo
The physicians and staff of the Ear, Nose and Throat team at University of Colorado Hospital are happy to provide second opinions for patients in the community who have symptoms of or a diagnosis of dizziness and vertigo.
To find out more, call (720) 848-2820.
Additional Dizziness & Vertigo Resources
Marion Downs Hearing Center
Vestibular Disorders Association
Dizziness & Vertigo Support Groups
Vestibular Disorders Association
Tests and Treatment
Tests for Dizziness & Vertigo
Videonystagmography (VNG). The VNG test records eye movements with a camera attached to a pair of goggles placed over the eyes. Your audiologist will ask you to track the movement of light on a wall in front you, then from a series of different positions (sitting, lying down, head to the right and left), after which warm and cool water is flushed into the ear canals.
Rotational Chair. The rotational chair test also records eye movements with a camera attached to eye goggles and is often done at the same time as the VNG test. The camera focuses on the pupil (darkest part of the eye). The chair sways slowly during the test as the camera records eye movements.
Posturography.The posturography test measures your balance. You will don a safety harness and stand on a platform that sways back and forth slowly.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR). The ABR test measures how well your auditory nerve is working. The auditory nerve transmits signals from the cochlea (the organ that translates sounds into nerve impulses) to the brain, where the signals are interpreted. You will have electrodes placed behind the earlobes and on the forehead, and then listen through earphones for sounds.
Electrocochleography (ECoG). The ECG test measures activity in your inner ear. As with the ABR test, you will have electrodes placed behind the earlobes and on the forehead, but another will be placed in your ear canal. You will then listen through earphones for sounds.
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP). The VEMP test assesses the saccule, a part of your balance system that senses gravity. You will have electrodes placed on your forehead, the sides of your neck and on your chest. You will listen for a sound as you turn your head as far as possible to the left or right.
Treatments for Dizziness & Vertigo
If your vertigo persists, your doctor may prescribe exercises to help your brain adapt to the sensations of dizziness (vestibular rehabilitation therapy).
A rehabilitation specialist will help you learn the exercises, which you will perform at home several times a day. The exercises increase in difficulty until you regain the highest level of balance.
Depending on the cause of the vertigo, your doctor may also prescribe medications or changes in your diet.
See also the YouTube video of Carol Foster, MD's "half-somersault" treatment for a certain kind of vertigo.
Video: UCH's Carol Foster, MD and her "half-somersault" self-treatment for vertigo
Displacement of particles in structures in the inner ear can cause vertigo.
In this video, Dr. Foster demonstrates a "half-somersault" maneuver that vertigo suffers can perform on their own that might just solve their symptoms.
Watch the YouTube video