Defeat Dizziness

Last June, Gina Trani began having trouble with her sinuses, which she expected at that time of year. What she didn’t expect was that this year, severe dizziness came with the package. She woke up one morning so dizzy and disoriented, she had to call in sick to work, something she never did, for four days straight.Graphic from istockphoto.com.
“When I got out of bed, the room was spinning,” she recounts. “I slowly tried to get ready for work, then sat back down. I thought, This is crazy. I was not feeling well. I was sweating and having a panic attack because I was alone.
“I had to stay home because I couldn’t drive. The dizziness was horrible. I felt like I was falling off a building.”
Four days later, Gina went to an area clinic, where they ruled out a brain tumor as the cause of her condition. They also recommended she visit an ear, nose and throat physician. The ENT prescribed medication for her sinuses, which helped that problem somewhat. It did little to eliminate the dizziness, and her symptoms continued to come and go.
“When I would stretch or turn my head a certain way, or lie in bed and turn to the right, it was like, Whoa, it’s still there,” notes Gina. “But it’s like having a panic attack. I didn’t want to think about it because I was afraid it was going to come back.”
The recurrent symptoms impacted Gina’s routines significantly. They affected her ability and desire to participate in normal, everyday activities.
“This dizziness changed my life,” confirms Gina. “I was afraid of falling. I didn’t want to go far from home because I was afraid of driving. That limited me socially. I couldn’t go to the gym or do yoga. When I walked, I kept my head down and walked quickly. I looked like I was drunk.”
Later in the year, at a routine physician appointment, Gina told the doctor about her dizziness, and he gave her some sage advice. He said, If it comes back, you need to see Dr. Hansen at Trinity Hearing and Balance Center.
Another episode of dizziness in November prompted Gina to make an appointment at Trinity Hearing & Balance Center, where she met with Nikki Goldowski, AuD, a colleague of Kelly Hansen, AuD. Dr. Goldowski and Dr. Hansen are doctors of audiology who specialize in treating hearing loss and dizziness.
“When Gina came in, she was experiencing a great deal of unsteadiness and difficulty with balance,” observes
Dr. Goldowski. “She was also having a hard time focusing and concentrating. Every time she tried to tip her head back, lie down or roll over in bed, the dizziness would start all over again.”
Dr. Goldowski tested Gina using state-of-the-art equipment and, based on the results and Gina’s symptoms, diagnosed her with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). BPPV is the most common cause of episodic vertigo. The condition is caused by small crystals of calcium carbonate that get into the inner ear balance mechanisms. When these particles become loose in the ear canals, causing symptoms, they must be repositioned.
“I use an advanced, software-driven machine, the Epley Omniax System, to diagnose and treat dizziness and balance disorders such as BPPV,” notes
Dr. Goldowski. “This system allows me to pinpoint the location of the particles and develop a detailed plan for repositioning them. Trinity Hearing and Balance Center is one of very few centers in the country to have this system.”

Precise Positions

The Epley Omniax System includes a chair that rotates to put patients in nearly any position. The doctor then monitors the patients’ eye movements for signs of dizziness. This enables the doctor to determine which positions lead to symptoms and, in the case of BPPV, which ear is affected.
“The chair is computer controlled, so it can put patients in the very precise positions necessary to move the crystals loose in the ear canals back where they belong,” explains Dr. Goldowski. This approach is also less physically demanding than previous treatment methods.
Graphic from istockphoto.com.“The chair allows us to easily put patients in these precise positions without placing strain on their necks or backs. It is also much more comfortable for the patients than being moved around a table, which is the way we used to reposition them.”
“When Dr. Goldowski put me in the chair, she told me everything she was going to do,” states Gina. “I would wear goggles, and she was going to put me in different positions. She even informed me of all the positions I was going to be put in.
“I was a little nervous at first, but Dr. Goldowski was so compassionate. It’s very unusual to find doctors and staff who are so caring and nice.”
When both ears are affected, as in Gina’s case, treatment is most effective when one ear is treated at a time.
“I treated Gina’s right ear the day of her first appointment. She came back a week later, and that side tested normal,” reports Dr. Goldowski. “I then treated her left ear, and after that treatment, her dizziness was completely gone.”

Nationally Certified

Trinity Hearing & Balance Center’s philosophy and dedication to patient care set it apart from other hearing centers.
“Our center is proud to be an AudigyCertified™ practice,” acknowledges Dr. Hansen. “We are one of only two hundred and fifty clinics in the nation to hold this certification.
“AudigyCertified professionals are among the country’s most experienced hearing care professionals, possessing some of the industry’s highest credentials. Our expertise is measured by our commitment to patient satisfaction, continuing education and the expert application of current technologies.
“Many patients who have gone through our Patients for Life™ program experience greater satisfaction with their hearing technology and a greater quality of life.”

“I felt great immediately. When I left Trinity Hearing and Balance Center, it was like my whole personality changed. I was amazed that a treatment like that could make me feel so much better.”-Gina

One of the most unique aspects of Audigy’s service is e-patient®, which brings their Patients for Life program into the digital world.
“The e-patient program, a component of Patients for Life, is an educational tool we provide for patients,” educates Dr. Hansen. “It is a treatment-focused software tool that enables us to quickly and effectively explain products and procedures to patients. E-patient has excellent visuals to show the patient how their hearing works and what happens when someone has a hearing loss.
“E-patient also offers an overview of what’s going to happen during the patient’s appointment.”

Firmly Planted

The dizziness Gina suffered was life-altering. She couldn’t imagine how some people lived with the condition. She didn’t have to live with it, however. Her treatment with the Epley Omniax System brought her quick relief.
“I felt great immediately,” she marvels. “When I left Trinity Hearing and Balance Center, it was like my whole personality changed. I was amazed that a treatment like that could make me feel so much better.
“I’m back to the gym, and on the treadmill. I’m not afraid to move my head, and I’m not scared of falling. It’s great.”
Now that Gina feels firmly planted on solid ground, her social life is back on track, and she no longer looks like she’s been drinking when she walks. She’s so happy with her results, she’s telling the world about her experience.
“Everyone at Trinity Hearing and Balance Center was very friendly including the receptionist, who was the first person I met,” she says. “I didn’t have to wait long, which was nice. Dr. Goldowski brought me right in. She had a student with her, but she made it comfortable even though there was somebody else in the room.
“I want to get the word out to help others. I tell people on Facebook about the center because I wouldn’t have known about it if not for my doctor.
“I can’t tell enough people because they might know someone with vertigo, and the chair is worth a try. It’s better than medicine. Trinity Hearing and Balance Center was life-saving for me!”

Print This Article
    • Trinity Hearing & Balance Center

      Trinity Hearing & Balance Center utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of many different types of dizziness and balance disorders. You no longer have to "learn to live" with it. The great news is that diz... Read More

    • Kelly Hansen

      Dr. Kelly Hansen obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.  Throughout her career, Dr. Hans... Read More

    • Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD

      Nikki Goldowski-Richa, AuD, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and hearing in 2011 from Cleveland State University and her Doctorate of Audiology degree from the University of Louisville in 2015. She recently completed her clinica... Read More