The Dizzy Patient Evaluation

by Dr. Christopher Chang, last modified on 4/13/21

DISCLAIMER: We do NOT consider ourselves "dizzy" experts, but provide the following info as a service to patients. As we are an ENT practice, we will only perform the appropriate testing and evaluation to see if the ears and/or allergies are a cause of a patient's dizziness. Anything more needs to be arranged through your primary care physician or another specialist. Generally speaking, a neurologist is the specialist able to provide the most comprehensive evaluation of dizziness.

Dizziness described as sudden episodes that lasts only seconds to minutes (never more than 30 minutes) followed by periods of relative normalcy...

...that mainly occurs after turning the head or rolling over in bed.

You may be suffering from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, otherwise known as BPPV. Workup includes audiogram and Dix-Hallpike maneuver. Treatment with specific maneuvers is generally curative. Click here to determine what type of BPPV you have as well as what the appropriate maneuver is to correct. Video below demonstrates the Epley maneuver to correct posterior canal BPPV affecting the right ear. Other subtypes include lateral and superior canal BPPV which require different maneuvers for correction.

Other (more rare) possible causes include cervicogenic vertigo (especially if you had whiplash injury or arthritis of your spine) and semicircular canal dehiscence (associated with hearing loss). Evaluation of these possibilities require additional studies.

Meclizine does not help and should not be prescribed for BPPV.

Read more about dizziness in general here.

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