Geisinger Medical Center opens new ‘Vestibular and Balance Center’

Geisinger Medical Center recently opened a new Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery - Vestibular and Balance Center to help patients who are affected by vertigo, dizziness or balance problems.

"Approximately 69 million American adults have problems with their vestibular center, a complex sensory system in the inner ear that guides our sense of balance and ability to maintain body posture," said Thomas L. Kennedy, M.D., medical director of the center and chairman and director of Geisinger's Otolaryngology Department. "With chronic dizziness or balance problems, patients may not be able to drive, participate in certain physical activities, or concentrate on everyday tasks."

The Dizziness and Balance Center will offer multidisciplinary treatment to patients that experience vertigo, dizziness or imbalance as a result of vestibular disorders, head injuries, strokes or other neurologic problems. A neurotologist/otologist, physical therapist and audiologist collaborate to provide care and treatment to patients. The team will also consult with neurologists, pharmacists, orthotists, physiatrists, occupational therapists and social workers on an as-needed basis.

"Balance and vestibular disorders are often poorly understood and mismanaged," said Jeff Walter, coordinator at the Vestibular and Balance Center. "By combining various disciplines into a balance and dizziness team, we can improve patient care and eliminate unnecessary tests and medications."

The team has access to advanced diagnostic and treatment equipment, including devices that measure inner ear movement and activity, a person's hearing ability, brain signals and eye movement.

These high-tech tools provide physicians with precise diagnoses, according to Walter. Depending on the diagnosis, patients can have direct access to surgery, physical rehabilitation and medication programs. The center will refer patients to the Bloomsburg University vestibular lab if rotational chair testing or assistance with improving posture is needed.

"Our goal with the center is to streamline the delivery of specialty services so that patients can quickly resume their normal activities and lead active lives again," Walter said.


Geisinger Health System


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