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Who should I see for Vertigo problems in Singapore?

Ear, Nose & Throat

I am 64 years old & I suffer from hearing loss in both ears for more than 20 years & have been wearing hearing aids for some time.

Recently, I suffered vertigo with nausea on 10 May. I recovered after taking “Merislon” tablets (3 times) for that day. The next day I was alright.

On 12 June, I had a short episode of dizziness which is akin to vertigo (without nausea) but managed to sleep it off.

On 15 June 2015 I again felt dizzy for a short while in the evening & again when I laid down to sleep.

I have seen my GP who has written a referral letter for me to consult with any ENT specialist. He has advised me to go to either TTSH or GH.

Someone else commented that I should see a neurologist.

May I have your view.

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Yes, an ENT specialist is the correct choice of a specialist for you to see for vertigo type problems.

Vertigo with nausea is quite a common condition – your story sounds typical of either viral labyrinthitis or viral vestibular neuritis. These are caused by viral infections of the inner ear, or a viral infection/inflammation of the vestibular nerve respectively. Both conditions can be hard to tell apart as symptoms are similar, however labyrinthitis is more likely if you hearing has been affected too (vestibular neuritis does not cause hearing loss).

Less commonly, the above conditions can result from a bacteria infection too, which will require antibiotics treatment.

Another 2 possible causes are BPPV and Ménière’s disease – BPPV in particular is common above the age of 50.

None of these are a diagnosis for you however, as there are other conditions too that can mimic the above symptoms and conditions, hence it’s best to get an ENT specialist to have you checked out – they are the experts when it comes to vertigo/inner ear-related problems.

I cannot comment whether you need to see a neurologist at this point without examining you myself – but from what you’ve described alone, the ENT specialist will certainly be your first port of call. If necessary, they will also be the right person to decide if you need to see a neurologist.

I’m not sure if you are already being followed-up by an ENT specialist for your hearing loss too; but it’s unlikely to be related to your current episode of vertigo due to the time span difference.

Cheers

1210 views 25 Jan 2018

Dr Ethan has provided a good summary on the possible causes of vertigo. Vertigo is a type of giddiness whereby a patient feels that the room is spinning or he/she is spinning. If this is what you experience, then you should see an ENT Specialist first.

Most vertigo are due to peripheral causes (meaning there is a problem with the balancing system of the ear).

Central causes of vertigo (due to a problem in the brain) are fortunately much rarer. Warning symptoms associated with central vertigo include feeling like you are losing consciousness, difficulty in swallowing, slurring in your speech, and weakness in your arms/legs and double vision.

If your vertigo is associated with these symptoms, you need to see a neurologist first.

1203 views 25 Jan 2018
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