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Summa Health System’s Vestibular Diagnostic Testing Lab Assesses and Treats Common Balance Problems

Date: 06.10.2011
Contact: Julie Uehara Sur Phone: (330)375-7117

Contact: Julie Uehara Sur, Phone: (330)375-7117, Email: ueharaj@summahealth.org

AKRON, Ohio, June 10, 2011– Have you or a loved one ever experienced dizziness, imbalance or vertigo? If it has happened on more than one occasion, it could be a result of a vestibular – or inner ear balance – disorder.

Summa Health System’s vestibular diagnostic testing lab was developed to assess and treat patients for balance problems. The lab uses a videonystagmography test (VNG) with a rotational chair designed to increase accuracy and confirm a diagnosis of a patient’s symptoms. Testing evaluates the peripheral (ear) vestibular system, central (brain) vestibular system, cervicogenic (neck), and visual (eyes) vestibular system.

Testing involves several non-invasive tests that records and measures nystagmus (dizziness). The series of tests can help determine if the disorder is of inner ear or brain origin. It can also decipher between bilateral (both ears) and unilateral (one ear) weakness.

“People at any age can experience dizziness, vertigo and imbalance, but it’s particularly common and dangerous for seniors and could lead to life-threatening falls,” said Brian Rentschler, director of Neurology for Summa Health System.

Summa uses a collaborative approach between neurologists, audiologists and physical therapists to test, diagnose and treat the patient with balance disorders. The staff at the vestibular lab will determine the best treatment approach for each patient so they can get back to their normal lives.

Talk to your physician if you’ve experienced any of the following:

In the past month…

  • Have you felt dizzy (lightheaded, giddy, whirling, spinning, faint)?
  • Have you been imbalanced (nearly falling, veering, unstable on your feet, off balance)?
  • Has dizziness made you stop driving your car or change your driving habits?
  • Has imbalance caused you to hold on to things to steady yourself?
  • Has dizziness or imbalance made you change how fast you get out of bed?
  • Have you had to become careful on how fast you move your head or what position you put it in (looking up or down)?

In the past year…

  • Have you fallen?
  • Have you had to use a cane or other supportive device when walking?
  • Have you noticed any difficulty moving around as quickly as you used to?
  • Have your friends or family expressed concern about your balance or mobility?

The vestibular diagnostic testing lab is located at the Summa Health System Neuroscience Center at 701 White Pond in Akron. Patients can schedule an appointment through central registration (physician order required) at 330-996-8881.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.

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