Dizziness is a very interesting area in medicine. There are literally dozens of different diseases that can cause the sensation of dizziness. Dizziness means different things to different people. Sensations vary from vertigo, in which the room is spinning around, to just plain light headed when somebody goes from lying down to a standing position.
The type of dizziness which we see from inner ear problems is termed vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation that the room is spinning around or that you are spinning around and the room is stationary. The vertiginous sensation originates from the balance system in the labyrinth of the inner ear. The inner ear can be affected just like other organs in the body by whatever the body is experiencing. Medications, tumors or infections can affect the inner ear. Also trauma and other disease processes such as diabetes, thyroid disease and many others can affect the inner ear.
If a person has inner ear trouble, they usually complain of vertigo with nausea. They can also have ringing in the ears and hearing loss. Since the hearing system and the balance system are connected, there is frequently an association between the different types of symptoms.
When one looks in the ear, depending on the disease process that is causing the problem, one might see a normal looking eardrum, or one that is severely infected. The tympanic membrane may be ruptured or there may be blood in the ear. The complaints and the findings will vary with the particular type of disease so the treatments will also vary.