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.
Disorders of the Middle Ear Can Also Cause Dizziness
Other conditions that may cause dizziness include middle ear inflammation and benign tumors of the acoustic nerve that connects the ear and the brain.