Why the Diagnosis of “Vertigo” Can Be Misleading

We often see patients who have been diagnosed with vertigo, but aren’t sure what that means for their health, or how it’s best treated. The definition of vertigo is the perception of the room spinning. Many patients, when experiencing any form of dizziness, will visit a physician. This may be a neurologist, primary care, urgent care, orthopedist, cardiologist, or even the emergency department. Dizziness can be scary. It is not uncommon for someone to visit the emergency department because they fear they are dying or having a stroke.

Vertigo Is a Symptom Not Necessarily a Diagnosis

Although our patients may be experiencing true room-spinning vertigo, we have to ask ourselves, what is causing these symptoms? Could it be the inner ear? The only way to evaluate the function of the inner ear is to visit a vestibular audiologist, like Danielle Dorner, Au.D., FAAA.

Dr. Dorner’s job is to rule out any mechanical issues, permanent damage, active disease processes, and/or structural abnormalities within your inner ear that may be contributing to and/or causing your symptoms.

Dr. Dorner, uses a variety of research-based, state-of-the-art vestibular side-of lesion tests to evaluate the inner ear. Some of these are only offered at Associated Audiologists or at research facilities such as:

  • Videonystagmography
  • Rotary Chair
  • Cervical and Ocular Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials
  • Sensory Organizational Performance
  • Bithermal Calorics
  • Video Head Impulse Test
  • Auditory Brainstem Response
  • Electrocochleography

Once she has determined if the vertigo is caused by an inner ear problem, depending on the issue, she may provide treatment, or can assist with referral to a specialist.

Experiencing dizziness or balance problems? Take our online quiz.

If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, you may have an equilibrium disorder. The good news is that 90% of the time, these disorders can be successfully treated once they have been properly diagnosed.

Request an appointment for a dizziness and balance evaluation with Dr. Dorner, or call 816-442-7831 to schedule an appointment with her.