Conditions Causing Dizziness, Vertigo and Hearing Issues

The Penn State Health Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery team evaluates and treats otology (middle ear) and neurotology (inner ear, including the skull base) disorders for adults and children. We offer expert care for conditions resulting in loss of hearing and balance, including:

  • Balance disorders ; vestibular neuritis and Meniere’s disease
  • Hearing loss; otosclerosis,ossicular chain damage or discontinuity
  • Tympanic membrane perforations
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Cholesteatomas

Benign and malignant tumors of the temporal bone and skull base The Penn State Health otology and neurotology specialists offer the most advanced medical and surgical therapies backed by industry leaders in clinical care, research and education. Our program is one of the few programs in central Pennsylvania for cochlear implantation surgery. We also provide office-based interventions and surgeries for balance disorders.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Symptoms depend upon the condition, but generally include hearing issues, vertigo (spinning sensation) and facial weakness. The Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery offers a full spectrum of diagnosis and treatment options, including:

  • Acoustic neuroma surgery
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Chronic infections of the ear and temporal bone
  • Cochlear implantation
  • Facial nerve disorders, including Bell’s palsy
  • Facial nerve repair surgery
  • Glomus tumor surgery
  • Implantable hearing aid surgery (such as the Baha® system)
  • Lateral temporal bone surgery
  • Meniere’s disease and other balance disorders
  • Ossicular chain problems, including otosclerosis
  • Skull base surgery
  • Stapedectomy
  • Tumors of the temporal bone, including ear canal tumors

Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Advanced Testing and Treatment Options for Vertigo and Dizziness

The Hershey Medical Center Division of Otolaryngology has the full complement of audiologic, medical, and surgical capabilities to treat both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.  Hearing testing and treatment is offered to children and adults at our University Physicians’ Center location.


Diagnostic comprehensive hearing assessment is available for all ages through our audiology department.  While traditional hearing testing is used for most patients, more complex electrophysiologic and sedated measurements may be used for infants or those patients who are unable to be evaluated by standard testing.

Our team provides the most current abilities to evaluated dizziness and balance disorders in Pediatric and Adult patients through modern, evidenced-based vestibular testing.

Hearing aids

Our audiology department provides a variety of technologies and performs on ear verification for each fitting. This type of measurement ensures the hearing aids are fit specifically to the patient’s hearing loss as well as the individual ear canal of the patient, maximizing audibility.

Bone anchored hearing devices are offered for those patients who are unable to wear traditional hearing aids.

Our Cochlear Implant team offers the services of well-trained surgeons, audiologists, speech pathologists and developmental pediatricians who work together providing the best possible outcomes for infants to adults.

Surgical Treatment

When indicated, our otologist is able to offer tailored surgical care for conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.  Conductive hearing loss caused by such disorders as cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, tympanic membrane perforation, and others are typically able to be addressed directly with surgery. Reconstructive surgery such as stapes surgery, tympanoplasty, and ossicular chain reconstruction are offered in addition to implantable devices such as bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA).

Sensorineural hearing loss due to damage to the hearing nerve or cochlea may be addressed with BAHA or cochlear implantation (CI) in the appropriate patients.

The Penn State Health otolaryngology team provides advanced testing and treatment options to our patients with dizziness. Although vertigo and dizziness can be debilitating, most causes can be treated with medications and physical therapy. Some patients also find relief with surgical procedures.

We also offer a subspecialized clinic for patients with vertigo caused by Meniere’s disease. Surgery can often greatly improve or cure spinning attacks and other. Our team also provides advanced vestibular testing, including:

  • Electrocochleography (ECoG) tests
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP)
  • Videonystagmography (VNG)

Our multidisciplinary treatment approach includes physicians, audiologists and physical therapists to help you feel better as quickly as possible.

Commitment to clinical trials

The Penn State Health Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery team is committed to furthering ear, nose and throat research and clinical trials in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine. To learn more about clinical trials available at Penn State Health, visit our StudyFinder.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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