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Dizziness and Vertigo: Is Your Head Spinning?

Learn the latest about the causes and treatments of these annoying and distressful symptoms at a free community seminar

Many people know what it’s like to be dizzy, but they often describe it in different ways. They may feel lightheaded, faint, woozy, weak, nauseous, unbalanced or unsteady. Up to 40 percent of us will experience some type of dizziness one or more times during our life. It is a common reason people go to the doctor.

Vertigo is a type of dizziness that feels like you are spinning or the world is spinning around you. Each year, about five percent of us experience vertigo. Vertigo is more common in women and more likely to happen as we age.

“Having symptoms of dizziness or vertigo can be confusing, and it may be hard for you to describe what’s going on,” said Dale Amanda Tylor, MD, MPH, an ear, nose and throat specialist with Washington Township Medical Foundation. “If you feel a passing lightheadedness when you get up too fast, that is not concerning. However, persistent dizziness for no apparent reason can be a sign of something as serious as a stroke.”

You can learn more at an upcoming free community seminar, “Dizziness & Vertigo: What You Need to Know” on Tuesday, March 1 at 1 p.m. in the Conrad E. Anderson, MD Auditorium in the Washington West building next to Washington Hospital in Fremont. For more information or to reserve your spot, go online to and click on events, or call 800.963.7070.

Dr. Tylor will lead the seminar, along with local neurologist Charan Singh, MD.

There is a wide range of reasons why you may feel dizzy or have vertigo. Most of the time, the cause is not serious or life-threatening. However, if you also have any of the following, you should see your doctor:

  • Episodes of dizziness that keep happening for no apparent reason
  • Dizziness that starts around the time you have a head injury
  • Headache, neck ache, blurred vision, hearing loss or difficulty moving
  • Chest pain, irregular heartbeat or loss of consciousness

Any of these can signal a more serious condition.

“Dizziness or vertigo can be a sign of inner ear dysfunction or brain dysfunction, such as a brain tumor or a stroke,” explained Dr. Singh. “The symptoms of these conditions can be quite similar. In addition to examining the patient, we use variety of tests to help clarify the cause.”

Other problems can also contribute to dizziness, such as low blood sugar, low sodium in the blood or low blood pressure.

At the seminar Drs. Tylor and Singh will describe some of the latest tests and methods used to pinpoint the cause of dizziness and vertigo. They will share a list of questions that can help patients describe what they are experiencing and help doctors determine the most effective treatment.

“If you have bouts of dizziness or vertigo, it can sometimes be useful to keep a mini-diary of certain behaviors, such as sleeping patterns and diet, which may help the doctor understand what is happening,” adds Dr. Tylor.

The doctors will also discuss the most common diseases that cause vertigo, including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease and labyrinthitis.

BPPV involves the crystals in the part of our inner ear that affects balance. If the crystals become loose, they can send the wrong information to our brain, leading to a vertigo attack when we move. Doctors can perform a maneuver that can shift the crystals and stop the episode of vertigo.

Learn more.

To find out more about dizziness and vertigo and how these conditions are diagnosed and treated, come to the free seminar on March 1. To register, go online to and click on events, or call 800.963.7070. For more information about Washington Township Medical Foundation, go to To learn about the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, visit