Jefferson University Hospitals

Balance & Dizziness Disorders

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Balance & Dizziness Disorders

Over half of the population of the United States will experience a balance or vestibular disorder in their lifetime.

If you have been referred to Jefferson Health's Balance and Hearing Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital or the Balance Center at Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health, for feelings of vertigo, dizziness, lightheadedness and/or motion sickness, our experts will perform diagnostic tests. The results of these tests will help us diagnose the problem and plan a course of treatment.

Our otolaryngologists, along with our audiologists, work together to rule out inner ear pathologies that cause balance and dizziness problems.

Balance disorders are the number one health complaint of patients over the age of 70.

Common Inner Ear Disorders

Inner ear inflammation from a cold or virus usually causes peripheral vertigo, the most common type of inner ear disorder. Other common inner ear disorders that may elicit vertigo, dizziness or disequilibrium are:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a false sense of spinning caused by calcium carbonate crystals that have broken off and have slipped into one or more of the three fluid-filled semi-circular canals in your ear. Symptoms are repeated episodes of a spinning sensation, brought on by a change in the position of the head, which lasts seconds to minutes long.
  • Meniere's disease is an inner ear disorder that can affect both hearing and balance. It can cause episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus and the sensation of fullness in the ear. It is considered a chronic condition and usually starts between ages 20 and 50.
  • Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear structure, called the labyrinth. It’s usually caused by a virus but can also be caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Vestibular neuronitis is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain. This inflammation disrupts the transmission of sensory information from the ear to the brain.

Vestibular disorders cause 50 percent of falls experienced by the elderly.

Why Choose Jefferson Health for Balance and Dizziness Disorders Treatment?

Rated among the best in the nation for Ear, Nose and Throat by U.S.News & World Report, Jefferson Health's centers feature physicians and doctors of audiology that offer comprehensive evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation. We also dispense state-of-the-art hearing aid technology, cochlear implants, custom ear molds and other implantable devices.

We are committed to restoring balance to our patients’ lives – be they difficulties brought on from strokes, seizures, inner ear disorders, Parkinson’s disease, vision problems, brain injury, multiple sclerosis (MS) or any other disorder. 

Less than 10 percent of patients with balance or vestibular disorders are ever evaluated by a specialist.

Make an Appointment

To learn more about balance and dizziness disorders and be evaluated by a specialist, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) to make an appointment.