Feeling dizzy? Check your ears

Dizziness is one of the top three causes of people going to hospital emergency departments. About half the cases are caused by ear problems, experts say.
Feeling dizzy? Check your ears
Ti Gong / Shanghai No.6 People's Hospital

Dr. Shi Haibo from Shanghai No.6 People's Hospital performing ear surgery.

About half the people suffering dizziness have ear problems, but many patients and even some doctors are not aware of the problem, medical experts said during the National Ear Care Day on the weekend.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and Ménière's disease are the two main ear disorders causing dizziness, often confused with problems in the brain, the central nervous system or the eyes.

“Dizziness is one of the three leading reasons people visit a hospital emergency department. The other two are fever and pain in the stomach or intestine,” said Dr. Shi Haibo from Shanghai No.6 People’s Hospital.

“Our hospital set up the city’s first multi-disciplinary treatment center to give group consultations for patients with dizziness to help find the real cause of dizziness and give the correct therapy.”

Shi said the quicker pace of modern life, rising stress levels and some life habits have caused an increase in Ménière's disease — affecting about 7 percent of adults now.

“It is a disease seriously damaging people’s quality of life but proper diagnosis and treatment can control its deterioration,” said Shi, whose hospital has adopted an innovative testing measure targeting the disease.

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