Vertigo & Dizziness Specialist

Lexington ENT & Allergy

Alexa Lessow, MD

Otolaryngology located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Many people experience an occasional bout of vertigo or dizziness. But when these conditions recur or your symptoms are severe, it’s time to consider an evaluation by Alexa Lessow, MD, at Lexington ENT & Allergy on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Dr. Lessow determines the underlying cause of your vertigo or dizziness and provides the personalized treatment you need to overcome your symptoms. If you have questions or you need to schedule an appointment, call the office in New York City or use the online booking feature.

Vertigo & Dizziness Q & A

What is the difference between vertigo and dizziness?

Dizziness refers to lightheadedness, vertigo, and loss of balance. Though vertigo is a type of dizziness, it’s a more specific problem. Vertigo is the sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning.

What causes dizziness?

Maintaining your balance depends on numerous body systems, including your vision, muscles, and ears, that must all be healthy and working together. A problem in any area can throw off your sense of balance and make you dizzy. Health conditions that often cause dizziness include:

  • Inner ear infections
  • Migraine headaches
  • Neurological conditions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Low blood sugar
  • Certain medications

Dizziness can also occur when you’re overheated or dehydrated.

What causes vertigo?

Vertigo develops due to problems in your ear or central nervous system. Problems with the central nervous system that lead to vertigo include:

  • Stroke
  • Migraines
  • Concussion
  • Dementia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Acoustic neuroma

When an ear problem is the underlying cause, you may have vestibular neuritis or Meniere’s disease. The most common type of vertigo, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), is due to a problem in your inner ear.

BPPV develops when small crystals inside your ear break away from their normal location and end up in the fluid-filled structures called semicircular canals. The canals are essential for balance. When the crystals disrupt the functioning of these canals, you develop vertigo.

What other symptoms develop if I have vertigo?

In addition to feeling like you’re spinning, vertigo may cause:

  • Headaches
  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Balance problems
  • Feeling like you’re disoriented

Vertigo often appears during rapid head movements, such as when you roll over in bed.

How are vertigo and dizziness treated?

Dr. Lessow performs a comprehensive exam to determine the cause of your dizziness or vertigo. Your evaluation may include one of several possible diagnostic procedures, including  balance tests, hearing tests, a neurological exam, and eye or head movement testing.

Treatment for dizziness and vertigo is based on the underlying cause, so there are many possible therapies. Your customized care for dizziness may include medications to alleviate nausea and dizziness or vestibular rehabilitation.

If you’re diagnosed with BPPV, however, Dr. Lessow performs a canalith repositioning procedure. During this procedure, she puts you through a series of simple movements that change your head position. As you move, the crystals leave the semicircular canals and go into an area where they don’t cause problems.

If you develop sudden, severe, or recurring dizziness or vertigo, schedule an evaluation by calling Lexington ENT & Allergy or using the online booking feature.