The department of neuro-otology provides a specialist national service for the diagnosis, investigation, management and rehabilitation of complex, auditory, vestibular and voice disorders, including skull base surgery.

The service is provided on an outpatient basis but also includes care of inpatients at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) and other units of UCLH. The department houses state-of-the-art assessment and management of balance disorders, including a dedicated one stop balance clinic.

New patients can expect a full and thorough diagnostic work-up in one clinic appointment.

Patients with visually triggered balance symptoms (visual vertigo) can benefit from rehabilitation in the custom built suite. The psychological effects of chronic dizziness include anxiety and panic attacks, and patients who require it are provided with specialised cognitive behavioural therapy.  The department takes a leading role in research into hearing and balance disorders, pioneering work into the assessment and management of vestibular disorders, migraine with dizziness and auditory processing disorders. There are links with research projects at the UCL Ear Institute and the Institute of Neurology.

The department benefits from a multidisciplinary team including audio-vestibular physicians, otolaryngologists, audiologists, a specialist nurse, a cognitive behavioural therapist and a speech and language therapist and provides an integrated rehabilitation programme with both clinical and research physiotherapists.

We regularly provide training days for GPs, audiologists and physiotherapists. Details of forthcoming events will be posted here.

We care for patients with:

  • Auditory processing disorders
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • Central vestibular disorders
  • Cerebellopontine angle lesions
  • Rehabilitation of chronic dizziness
  • Visual vertigo
  • Menière’s disease
  • Vestibular migraine and migrainous vertigo
  • Sensorineural hearing loss (including sudden or rapidly progressive loss)
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Voice disorders

New patients can expect a comprehensive one-stop service for assessment.  We offer dedicated experienced audiologist, physiotherapist and CBT support within our unit. Patients with uncomplicated balance disorders can be seen by physiotherapists on the same day as their assessment in the one-stop balance clinic.

We provide opinions on relevant disorders for inpatients for whom we are not primarily responsible, occasionally we admit patients under the treatment of our neurological colleagues, for intensive rehabilitation. New patients attending for  one-stop balance assessment are provided with advice on preparation to get the most out of their appointment.

After diagnosis, we provide a comprehensive management package, which may be organised within the unit or locally through the GP. Patients are provided with a tailored management plan, which is sent to bath patient and GP. Depending upon the diagnosis and local facilities, follow-up consultations may be required. Patient information leaflets on common conditions are provided in the tab below. Find out more and read advice on common questions about driving and dizziness.