Dizziness & balance disorders


In medicine, dizziness is understood to be a disturbance of the sense of balance, the feeling of turning or swaying, the feeling of not being able to move safely in space, or even the feeling of threatening unconsciousness. Vertigo is one of the most common complaints in Germany. About every 10th patient who visits his or her doctor complains about the feeling of losing orientation in space. For the person affected, this is a very unpleasant sensation, sometimes perceived as threatening, which can go so far that even the simplest everyday activities can no longer be performed. Often it is not easy to find the cause, as there are many different reasons for dizziness. In order to understand them better, it is necessary to take a closer look at how the sense of balance functions. The vestibular system obtains its information from three different systems: the two organs of equilibrium, which are located in the inner ear, the eyes, through which we perceive visual impressions, and the sensors in our joints and muscles, which provide information about posture and movement. If a malfunction occurs in one of the three systems, a conflict of perception arises and the person affected feels dizzy. All incoming information is processed in the brain, so that diseases in this area can also lead to dizziness. Other factors that can influence the vestibular system are medication, cardiovascular diseases and mental illness.

The dizziness consultation

During the initial presentation in the dizziness consultation, we perform a comprehensive diagnosis. Our primary goal in the vertigo outpatient clinic is to identify the cause of the vertigo and to find a suitable therapy. The anamnesis is of central importance in the diagnosis. For this purpose, a detailed conversation between doctor and patient is conducted to establish the exact history of the illness and any pre-existing and underlying diseases. This is followed by a detailed anamnesis on possible triggers of dizziness, the exact symptoms, how long they last and what accompanying symptoms there are. An important role in the diagnosis is also played by whether the patient is taking medication and, if so, which. The next step on the way to a diagnosis is a thorough physical examination of the patient. First of all, the ear, nose and throat area, eye movements using so-called Frenzel glasses and an orienting balance test are examined. This is followed by the apparatus-based examinations, which are intended to provide more precise information about the organs of equilibrium and also the hearing ability than the other part of the inner ear. Of central importance are the tests on the function of the organ of equilibrium, the so-called vestibularis tests. With their help it can be clarified whether the dizziness is caused by disturbances of the organ of equilibrium. Finally, the findings are discussed in a concluding conversation and a therapy is suggested, which in most cases can be started immediately. If we suspect a cause in another specialist area, we help to establish contact with other specialist colleagues.

Head of department

PD Dr. med. Nora Weiss


Dr. med. Franziska von Meyer


Anne Ruck