Center for Dizziness and Balance
Dizziness and balance problems can occur any age, but primarily affect the elderly. Accidents, which include falls, are a primary cause of death among the elderly. It's not enough to urge someone just to 'be careful.' Those with dizziness and balance issues need education, strengthening and a care plan to help reduce falls.
Falls also have a significant financial impact on society and are a primary reason for people losing their independence.
Dizziness has many possible causes, including motion sickness, inner ear disturbance, neurological conditions, medication side effects, anxiety, low iron levels, low blood sugar, overheating, cardiac disease and dehydration. It also may be caused by underlying health conditions such as poor circulation, injury or infection.
Balance issues, which can lead to falls, may be caused by, but not limited to, viral or bacterial infection in the ear, head injury, medications, skeletal problems, cardiac disease, visual problems or circulation disorders that affect the inner ear or brain.
The Center for Dizziness and Balance at Wheeling Hospital is designed to focus on diagnosis, education and prevention. It consists of a multi-faceted group of physicians and physical therapists with specialists from neurology, pharmacy, ophthalmology, otolaryngology and other specialties that may be required for assistance. Once a person has fallen, he or she can become fearful of it happening again. This can lead them to restrict activity and become isolated. The center will help link patients to the specialist who can help them.
The center concept at Wheeling Hospital was developed by audiologist Dr. Brandon Lichtman and physical therapist Dr. Thomas McFadden.
There are many causes of dizziness and poor balance. By bringing together medical specialists who deal with each of these causes, the center can better educate and help patients suffering from these issues. The group approach enhances the diagnosis and care options. Through evaluation and testing, the center's team will diagnose the problem and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Constant communication is maintained between the center and the patient's primary care physician.
The center is a great resource for physicians throughout the region seeking specialized evaluations and treatment of the disorders.
It is preferred that patients be referred by their family physicians to the Wheeling Hospital Center for Dizziness and Balance. The center number is 304-243-2910.