Center Uses Team Approach to Treat Balance and Dizziness Problems
- The Crozer-Keystone Center for Dizziness and Balance at Springfield Hospital is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for people suffering from balance and dizziness problems.
- The center can diagnose and provide treatment for people who suffer from daily dizziness; vertigo or fainting; feel lightheaded, unsteady or “giddy”; and have a lack or loss of balance.
- The center’s offerings begin with a unique triage/evaluation experience and continue throughout the patient’s treatment and recovery.
The Crozer-Keystone Center for Dizziness and Balance at Springfield Hospital is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for people suffering from balance and dizziness problems. The center can diagnose and provide treatment for people who suffer from daily dizziness; vertigo or fainting; feel lightheaded, unsteady or “giddy”; and have a lack or loss of balance.
The center was created to care for the growing number of people with a balance disorder. These conditions can make everyday activities difficult or can lead to more serious problems, such as falls or accidents. Dizziness and balance conditions can have several causes, including a vestibular (balance system) problem, neurologic disease and/or cardiac disease. The Center for Dizziness and Balance offers patients a well-coordinated team approach to treatment.
“Dizziness and balance disorders are generally underdiagnosed and undertreated. A big reason for this is that many who suffer from these problems do not know where to turn. They may accept their symptoms as part of their lives and perhaps not seek treatment until a fall or a bad episode leads them to an emergency department. We want the community to know that we can help,” says Mahmoud Ghaderi, D.O., chief of the Division of Otolaryngology at Springfield Hospital and one of three co-medical directors of the center, along with John Feehery, M.D., chief of the Section of Otolaryngology at Taylor Hospital, and Marc Surkin, M.D., chief of the Section of Otolaryngology at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.
The center’s offerings begin with a unique triage/evaluation experience and continue throughout the patient’s treatment and recovery.
“When a patient first comes to our center, he or she receives a comprehensive evaluation. Through this evaluation and perhaps additional testing, our team will diagnose the problem and develop an appropriate treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs,” Feehery says. “We maintain constant communication with each patient’s primary care physician about the patient’s progress.”
A patient’s evaluation may include a Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) test. CDP is considered one of the most advanced diagnostic testing procedures for dizziness and balance conditions, according to Surkin.
“CDP is a unique assessment technique used to objectively quantify and differentiate among the wide variety of possible sensory, motor and central adaptive impairments to balance control. The test allows us to localize and categorize what may be causing the patient’s problems. It helps us to determine what other testing might be needed and to develop a treatment plan,” Surkin says.
The test involves standing on a platform, typically with some form of visual target to watch. The platform and/or the visual target move while pressure gauges under the platform record shifts in body weight (body sway) as the person being tested maintains balance.
Depending on the outcome of CDP testing and other tests, patients may then be referred for consultations with an otolaryngologist, neurologist (Norman Leopold, M.D., Crozer, and Sigmund Jenssen, M.D., DCMH, both serve on the center’s steering committee), or a cardiologist.
Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, rehabilitation and surgery. If rehabilitation is needed, it will be performed right in the center by Crozer-Keystone therapists.
Above all, the center aims to make each patient’s experience as seamless and successful as possible. “Before the center, many patients would go from physician to physician and not get the right diagnoses. Now, the center can improve the quality of life for a patient,” Surkin says.
Ghaderi adds, “We have seen progress in our patients’ responses to the current treatments at the balance center. We, as physicians, have often directly gotten involved in the care of our patients using multidisciplinary approach. This approach helps us to take the patient beyond testing and offer a unique treatment plan for each individual diagnosis.”
The center’s administrative director – Carol Seiverd, who also serves as director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at DCMH – has overseen the center’s launch and will be in charge of day-to-day operations.
The center has a toll-free appointment request line — 1-866-95-DIZZY (1-877-953-4999) — that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During weekdays, the line is answered by an attendant at the center. During nights and weekends, callers will speak to a live attendant who will take their requests, and a representative from the center will respond to the request on the next business day. Appointment requests can also be submitted online at www.ckdizzy.org.
For more information about the Crozer-Keystone Center for Dizziness and Balance at Springfield Hospital, call 1-877-95-DIZZY (1-877-953-4999) or visit www.ckdizzy.org.