Audiology/Otolaryngology/Recurring dizziness



For about 5 years, I have suffered dizziness on and off. It was last triggered (after 6+ months of being 100% fine) when I had a cold and blocked nose.

It's gradually started up again. I would describe the symptoms as sudden bouts of dizziness (a sort of whooshing head feeling) which also seems to affect my sight in terms of depth perception. It's hard to explain but sometimes it feels as though things are a lot closer than they actually are and my focus seems to shift. I occasionally, at it's worst, feel travel sick, and sometimes I get the feeling that I am going to fall although I don't.

I've not felt so dizzy that I needed to sit down since my first bout, 5 years ago. At which point my doctor looked in my ears and said they were red and inflamed.

I've been to see a specialist and as it had died off at that point, they really weren't able to be much help.

It's driving me mad and I just wish I could get rid of it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Kind regards

Northern England.

Dear Stu,

I have had patients describe dizziness that seems connected to sinus pressure and problems, but you might investigate the possibility of BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo).  BPPV is not otherwise dangerous, except that vertigo results from particles floating in the canals of the inner ear (vestibular portion).  BPPV is characterized by sudden bouts (which may be brief, 15-60 seconds) following particular head movements or positions.  Vision is often disturbed, as the eyes are reflexively trying to drift (the eye movement due to inner ear stimulation is called "nystagmus").  Some describe their nystagmus as the world spinning, but also as "blurred" or difficulty keeping focus.  BPPV can be quite mild in symptoms to very powerfully severe.

BPPV is fairly easy to diagnose when active by simply moving you through various positions while watching and/or recording the eye movement via infrared camera (or electrodes) in the dark (so you cannot fixate your eyes on an object and suppress the movement).  This type of testing is most often performed by Audiologists or Physical Therapists, although sometimes technicians do perform under physician supervision.  You should search for clinics in your area that perform vestibular/balance testing and treatment.  

Speaking of treatment, BPPV is most often treated by repositioning therapy (taking head through deliberate movements to direct particles out of the affected canal (you have 6 total canals, 3 on each side oriented in 90 degree planes of each other).  Usually 2-3 sessions are all that is needed for most cases.  Medications are not very effective and only treat the symptoms not the cause.

Hope this helps and feel free to post what you find out.


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Dr. Clint D. Keifer, Audiologist


I am qualified to answer all questions related to the diagnosis and rehabilitative treatment of hearing and balance disorders. This includes evaluation of hearing and balance, counseling, amplification (hearing aids and assistive devices), tinnitus (noises in head) evaluation and management, cochlear implants, and audiology in general.


I started my career as a hearing instrument specialist (on a trainee license) in 1998. After almost 2 years, I decided that I needed to pursue higher education if I was to provide the best care to hearing impaired patients that I could. In 2007, I completed my Doctor of Audiology and have been providing audiological care for almost 5 years. I have vestibular, cochlear implant, and pediatric experience along with prescribing, fitting, and verification of hearing aid amplification as part of comprehensive hearing loss rehabilitation.

Audiology doctor and owner at Great Lakes Audiology in Toledo, OH. phone: 419 327-2273 website: American Academy of Audiology American Speech-Language Hearing Association Ohio Academy of Audiology

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Western Michigan University, Speech Pathology and Audiology Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Ohio State University Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

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