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Diagnosing Dizziness and Restoring Balance

One of the most common reasons that patients see an Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) consultant is because they experience problems with their balance and feel dizzy. Nuffield Health’s Mr Mudit Jindal has developed a particular interest in vestibular disorders and works with physiotherapists specialising in balance disorders to treat and manage patients with balance problems.

The vestibular system includes parts of the inner ear and the brain that help control balance and eye movements. If the system is damaged by disease, ageing or injury, symptoms may develop including vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, loss of confidence and social isolation. Elderly people in particular are at risk of falls due to their dizziness and mobility problems and this can sometimes result in a serious injury.

The ENT specialist at Nuffield Health in Wolverhampton Mr Jindal explains, “Mild vertigo in the peripheral sense is often caused by a problem in the inner ear and most commonly affects people over 50 and may develop after an ear infection, ear surgery or a head injury or if the patient has been in bed for prolonged bed rest. Light-headedness and a loss of balance can last for several minutes or hours after an attack of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It can occur during specific head movements, while standing up, bending over, crossing the road or turning in bed.”

Often caused by a viral infection, labyrinthitis is a specific inner ear infection. When the labyrinth on one side becomes inflamed, the signals the brain receives conflict, causing vertigo and dizziness. Severe vertigo, caused by a rare condition affecting the inner ear called Meniere’s disease, can cause dizziness, hearing loss, tinnitus and a feeling of pressure in the ear. Central vertigo is caused by problems in part of the brain and causes include certain medications, migraines, multiple sclerosis, brain tumours or a stroke.

Dizziness can be treated with “vestibular physiotherapy” which is a set of customised exercises designed for individual patients to address their underlying symptoms. Mr Jindal feels that vast majority of patients can be cured with balance therapy. Some people may also require medications to help with their acute symptoms and occasionally patients may require surgery. Mr Jindal will also offer advice on surgery if deemed appropriate, particularly for uncontrolled Meniere’s disease.

Qualifying in 1998 from St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, after basic surgical training Mr Jindal subsequently decided to pursue a career in ENT and undertook his Higher Surgical Training in the West Midlands. His fellowship at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London enabled him to take further specialist training in balance disorder and middle ear surgery. In addition to his private consultations at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital, he is an NHS consultant in ENT at New Cross and Russell Hall Hospitals.

In addition to ear disease and issues with balance, Mr Jindal is happy to see patients with a wide variety of ear, nose and throat problems including swallowing disorders, sinus disease and snoring. To see one of the four ENT consultants at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton Hospital, please ring 01902 275253 for more information and to book an appointment.

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