ENT TESTS

Balance Disorders Treatment Options

Balance disorders can have a significant impact on well being and the ability to pursue everyday activities, but treatment from an ENT specialist can help. A range of treatments are available at the Harley Street ENT Clinic that can help with inner ear problems and other causes of dizziness, vertigo and balance problems. The doctor will explain the treatment options in detail and ensure that you understand what to expect from your care at the ENT clinic in London.

Intratympanic Infusions

An intratympanic steroid injection can be used to treat certain kinds of balance disorders. Inner ear problems such as Menière’s disease and sudden vestibular failure are the most common reasons for using this treatment for vertigo and dizziness. The ear will be numbed with a local anaesthetic before the injection is given directly into the middle ear through a long, fine needle. Patients may experience a sensation of fullness in the ear, along with temporary hearing loss. The operating table may need to be tilted head-downwards for a while after the injection is given in order to prevent the medication from leaking out.


Medication

Medication can sometimes be an effective treatment for vertigo and balance disorders. Drugs can be used to suppress the activity of the balance organs, which can help to relieve symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo caused by inner ear problems. The medication will usually be prescribed for a limited period rather than as a long term treatment for vertigo. Taking the medication for too long can make it more difficult for the sense of balance to recover. Other types of medicine may also be prescribed at the ENT clinic in London in order to control specific symptoms such as nausea or to tackle ear infections that are causing balance problems. It is essential for patients to understand how the medication should be taken and to complete the full course of treatment in order to achieve the best results. The ENT doctor will explain the medication, its effects and any potential side effects in detail before giving a prescription. Follow up appointments may be recommended to ensure that the medication is working as expected.


Referral for Vestibular Therapy

Vestibular therapy is a form of physical therapy that can help with balance disorders. The therapist will perform a thorough assessment in order to design a personalised programme of exercises to improve balance and relieve symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo. Following the therapist’s advice should help to improve the symptoms and can make it easier to manage everyday activities. However, the treatment isn’t suitable for all vertigo and dizziness causes. An ENT specialist can provide a referral for vestibular therapy in London if it would be an effective treatment for vertigo, dizziness or balance problems. In some cases vestibular therapy may be the only treatment that is required, but it can also be combined with other types of care.


Grommet Insertion

Grommets are small tubes that can be inserted into the ear drum. The grommet forms an opening through which air can pass into the ear if the Eustachian tube is not functioning normally. The Eustachian tube is a small passage that links the middle ear with the nose. When it is working properly, it ensures that the correct pressure is maintained in the ear so that the vestibular system can function properly. If the Eustachian tubes are blocked it can cause balance problems. A grommet can provide an alternative route for air to move in and out of the middle ear. Grommet insertion is a surgical procedure that can be performed by an ENT doctor in London. The grommet will be placed into an incision made in the eardrum. The grommet will usually be extruded naturally from the ear drum in six to 12 months.


Epley

The Epley manoeuvre is a technique that can be used to treat certain kinds of vertigo. It is a simple sequence of movements that can relocate particles in the ear so that they are no longer causing problems. The technique is used when there is debris in the sensitive semicircular canal in the ear that is stimulating the vestibular system. The movements will encourage these particles to move into the less sensitive utricle, where they will no longer be able to trigger vertigo. The patient will be moved into a series of different positions that will draw the particles in the right direction by using the power of gravity. The Epley manoeuvre takes about 15 minutes to complete and it can be a very successful treatment for vertigo.

Self-pay and insured patients are welcome

The Harley Street ENT Clinic has agreed contractual rates with most health insurance companies such as United Healthcare Global, Aviva, Allianz Worldwide Care, Bupa, CIGNA, Simplyhealth, Standard Life (PruHealth), Aetna International and WPA amongst others.

We also deal directly with the insurance companies saving you the trouble of paying first and then reclaiming.

Patients funding their own treatment will be provided with consultation fees and the potential cost of onward treatment at the time of booking their appointment.