A multitude of medical conditions cause dizziness and imbalance. Patients with head injuries stroke, vestibular (inner ear) disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and other central nervous system disorders are often debilitated by balance problems. Patients frequently visit multiple physicians before a diagnosis is made, incurring considerable cost and frustration. The Center provides the expertise to facilitate accurate diagnosis, a vital step for appropriate treatment.

Over 90 million adult Americans have experienced a dizziness or balance problem. Of those who seek medical attention on an out patient basis, 10% are severely disabled by their dysfunction. Approximately 10% of all office visits in the United States in 1977 1978, were due to vertigo or dizziness. The number has continued to increase due to the aging of our population.

Over 450,000 Americans suffer serious head injury each year. In the United States, approximately 200 to 300 out of each 10,000 hospital admissions are related to head trauma In addition, 40% to 85% of head injured patients report dizziness or balance disorders as subjective symptoms. The majority of patients with moderate or severe head injury have persistent vertigo up to 5 years after injury and many are unable to return to work

Two million Americans have permanent disabilities due to stoke with a frequent sequelae being imbalance. Over 30% of elderly persons living in the community and over 50% of the elderly living in institutions fall each year. About 5% of these falls result in fractures, and 5 10% of falls result in other serious injuries. Postural reflexes, which are important components of balance, are moderately impaired in 24% of the elderly, and severely impaired in 44% of the elderly.

Differentiating between vestibular and non vestibular causes is considered the first step in the diagnosis of the dizzy patient. Thus otolaryngologists, neurotologists, neurologists, and physiatrists are the primary medical specialties involved in the diagnosis and management of the dizzy patient.

Many patients suffering from dizziness, imbalance, falling, and other hard to diagnose problems related to balance and mobility suffer from their disorder without finding relief. The centralized specialist testing and early therapeutic intervention made possible by the Balance Center offer an answer to managing these difficult problems.