Our goal is to provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for a variety of balance disorders including vertigo, disequilibrium, imbalance, and unsteadiness. These symptoms can have many different causes and treatment varies depending on the source of the problem.
While many individuals that report a symptom of vertigo (spinning sensation) have inner ear disorders, other types of dizziness and balance problems may be the result of medication or related medical conditions, migraine, visual deficits, poor sense of touch, decreased sensation or strength in the legs, reduced reaction time, changes in blood pressure, or a combination of some of the above.
The evaluation process involves no pain or risk, but may require more than one visit to the center.
The first step in receiving help is to consult your family physician. Frequently they can determine the cause of your balance problems and provide treatment. Your family doctor can help you determine whether you might be a candidate for the Balance Disorders program. Additionally, they will provide us with important information about your medical background and a list of your current medications.
Typically, your initial appointment will include a medical history review and a detailed interview to "classify" your type of dizziness. Based on these, we will determine which exams are most likely to provide helpful information.
In some cases, the initial testing will reveal the problem, but you may be asked to return for additional non-routine testing. If your symptoms and tests indicate the likelihood that your complaints are not a result of an ear problem, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist or refer you back to your primary care physician.
Preparing for Your Appointment
It is important that you keep your scheduled appointment as we block 2 hours of our schedule for this. If you must change your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours prior. Failure to keep or cancel your appointment in a timely manner may result in the inability to reschedule your appointment.
Prior to your initial appointment, you should have received a questionnaire and registration form. Please fill these out before arriving for your appointment. They can also be filled out through myWakeHealth.org.
If you are not ready to be seen at your scheduled time (with questionnaires completed), your appointment may need to be rescheduled. Bring a list of your current medications and any medical records pertaining to your balance or dizziness (particularly reports of any previous exams such as CT or MRI scans, and any recent hearing tests). You may take your medications normally, but eat lightly before this initial appointment. Refrain from wearing excessive makeup and do NOT wear eyeliner or mascara. Try to limit tilting and moving your head excessively for an hour or two prior to your appointment. Your initial visit usually takes about 2 hours.
At the completion of your evaluation, we will go over your test results and discuss treatment options. Some balance problems can be treated quickly in one or two office visits; however, some require ongoing therapy that typically lasts for several weeks. Some require medical treatment, and we will either refer you back to your physician, or arrange an appointment with the appropriate physician here at Wake Forest Baptist.
If your symptoms and test results indicate that do not have an ear problem, we will refer you to the appropriate specialist or refer you back to your primary care physician. A report with our findings and recommendations will be sent to the referring physician.
We want your visit with us to be as helpful and comfortable as possible, so please don't hesitate to ask any questions.