Dizziness and Vertigo
From The MS Information Sourcebook, produced by the National MS Society.
Dizziness is a common symptom of MS. People with MS may feel off balance or lightheaded. Much less often, they have the sensation that they or their surroundings are spinning—a condition known as vertigo.
These symptoms are due to lesions—damaged areas—in the complex pathways that coordinate visual, spatial, and other input to the brain needed to produce and maintain equilibrium.
Consult a physician when dizziness or vertigo becomes bothersome or lasts a long time. Usually, the symptoms respond to an anti motion-sickness drug such as meclizine (Antivert®, Bonine®, or Dramamine®), the newer skin patches that deliver scopolamine, or the anti-nausea drug ondansetron (Zofran®). In very severe cases of dizziness or vertigo, a short course of corticosteroids may be needed.
Disorders of the Middle Ear Can Also Cause Dizziness
For additional information about disorders of the ear, contact these organizations:
Schapiro R. Managing the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (5th ed.). New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2007.
Last updated January 2007