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Dizziness, Vertigo, and Meniere’s Disease FAQ

What is dizziness?

Some people describe their balance problem by saying that they feel dizzy, unsteady, or giddy. This feeling of imbalance without the sensation of turning or spinning is called disequilibrium and is sometimes due to an inner ear problem.

What is vertigo?

The word vertigo comes from the Latin verb “to turn.” Individuals with vertigo often say that they or their surroundings are turning or spinning. Vertigo is often due to an inner ear problem. Each year more than 2 million people visit a doctor for dizziness or vertigo.

What is Meniere’s disease?

Meniere’s disease is a disorder that produces a group of symptoms: sudden attacks of whirling dizziness, tinnitus or head noise, a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear, and a fluctuating hearing loss. While the underlying cause is not known, it is believed to result from a fluctuation in the pressure of fluid that fills the inner ear. An attack may last from a few hours to several days. Following a severe attack, most people find that they are so exhausted that they must lie down or sleep for several hours. The attacks vary in frequency from every few weeks to every few years. The disorder affects five out of ten thousand people, most of whom are over 35 years old.