Normal balance function relies on information from vision, somatosensory input and the peripheral vestibular system. This sensory information is integrated, modulated and interpreted within the central nervous system to enable gaze stabilization together with information regarding self and environmental movement. Interpretation requires cross referencing of sensory information with previously generated templates. A mismatch results in symptoms of “dizziness”, “unsteadiness” or “vertigo”.
Patients with dizziness are effectively and efficiently managed by otolaryngologists. Our specialty lends itself to the management of the majority of pathologies resulting in vertigo, although surgical intervention is seldom required. We discuss a multidisciplinary team model in addition to a brief description of common vestibular conditions and their treatment.