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Patient Information

Do I need an appointment?

Man looking at his calendar and touching his head

Our physicians are first trained in neurology, then specialize in eyes (neuro-ophthalmology), ears (neuro-otology, sometimes called oto-neurology), or both. We work in close collaboration with our Johns Hopkins colleagues trained in the related specialties ophthalmology and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. We also work closely with our neurological colleagues in the Ataxia Center and Stroke Centers.

We provide consultations for a range of conditions linked to the parts of the brain that control the eyes, ears and face. This means we assist patients in diagnosis and treatment of symptoms such as sudden vision loss, double vision, facial paralysis or spasms, dizziness, vertigo or difficulty with balance when sitting or walking. If patients have headaches or facial pain without these other symptoms, we suggest their providers refer them to a headache specialist. If patients have hearing loss without these other symptoms, we suggest their providers refer them to a hearing specialist, such as those at Hopkins Hearing.

Most of our outpatient consultations come from general neurologists or other specialists when our specific subspecialty expertise is needed. Many patients with vision loss, dizziness or vertigo, which are common problems, do not require a subspecialty consultation visit. In general, check with your current specialist before seeking an appointment in our clinic.

How do I request an appointment?

Neuro-Ophthalmology Clinic

For neuro-visual disorders, call 410-955-9313 and choose prompt 1.

  • Conditions
    We see patients with problems related to sudden vision loss, optic neuritis, papilledema, pseudotumor cerebri (idiopathic intracranial hypertension), pupils or eyelids, double vision, abnormal eye movements or nystagmus.

  • Referrals
    If a patient has vision loss, they should be seen first by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. It is not required that the provider be at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute. If a second opinion is needed, the referring provider should fax records and reason for consultation to Tamarkia “T” Little at 410-614-1746. For abnormal eye movements, no referral is required.

  • The Day of Your Visit
    ​Bring any radiology scans (especially MRI brain scans) on a CD or DVD to the neuro-ophthalmology appointment. Note that we would like to see the actual brain images, not merely the printed report of the results.

Botulinum Toxin Treatment Clinic

For facial spasms, call 410-955-9313 and choose prompt 3.

  • Conditions
    We see patients who suffer from hemifacial spasms and blepharospasm (facial or eyelid twitching or involuntary closure) and are candidates for treatment with botulinum toxin injections that relax these muscle spasms.
  • Referrals
    Relevant records should be faxed to Tamarkia “T” Little at 410-614-1746.

Oto-Neurology Clinic

For vestibular disorders, vertigo, dizziness or imbalance, call 410-955-3319 and choose prompt 1.

  • Conditions
    We see patients with problems related to vertigo, dizziness, imbalance (unsteadiness when walking due to balance problems), inner ear conditions, and nystagmus or other intrusive, abnormal eye movements. Patients with known or suspected Menière’s disease, superior canal dehiscence syndrome, acoustic neuroma/vestibular schwannoma, or other skull base tumors generally consult with our ENT (ear, nose and
    throat — also  called otolaryngology or otorhinolaryngology) colleagues in the Neuro-Otology Division of the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Department to be assessed for possible surgical treatment.
  • Referrals
    Our subspecialists prefer that all oto-neurology patients be referred by a physician, typically a specialist such as a general neurologist or ENT/otolaryngologist. Direct referrals from the patient’s treating doctors ensure good continuity of care for our patients, particularly since most of our visits are one-time consultations. Patients referred directly by their doctors, from whom we receive a referral to evaluate and treat for a specific condition, with appropriate records included, will be given priority. Self-referred patients may be redirected to seek care with another provider first. On rare occasions, we will see patients who have not seen specialists previously; however, since we have long appointment wait times, we encourage patients to first see a general neurologist or ENT/otolaryngologist for help. If additional expertise is needed, a referral can be made to us.
  • Pre-screening
    Our team prescreens all visit requests to ensure they are appropriate before providing an appointment date. This ensures that patients get seen by the correct provider and that all necessary information is available at the time of the appointment. We request that all materials be faxed to our central scheduling office (NeuroAccess) at 410-630-7900. The referring physician should fax a consultation request that includes general information (patient name, address, phone number(s), insurance information, etc.) and the reason for consultation. We will also need any neurology, ENT (ear, nose and throat), and possibly, cardiology visit notes, if related, and any test results, including any radiology scan reports (especially MRI brain scan reports).
  • AppointmentsOnce all materials have been faxed to our scheduling office, records will be reviewed promptly by our team (generally within five business days). Patients will be contacted by our scheduling department to arrange an appointment and will be sent a medical history questionnaire to complete prior to the visit. If it is determined that a different type of referral or consultation is recommended, the patient will be advised of our recommendation. Note that patients will be triaged, based on records, as to how soon they should be seen. Patients should return their completed previsit medical history questionnaire and medication list prior to their appointment. Patients will be added to the cancellation list once they have returned the completed questionnaire. We encourage patients to do this promptly, as it will greatly increase their chances of being seen sooner.
  • The Day of Your Visit
    On the day of the visit, please bring any radiology scans (especially MRI brain scans) on a CD or DVD. Note that we would like to see the actual brain images, not merely the printed report of the results. Our oto-neurology consultants will provide their assessment directly to the patient and make recommendations back to the referring doctor.

How do I participate in research?

Dr. Newman-Toker conducts vestibular research

The Neuro-Visual and Vestibular Disorders Center always has active research protocols. If you think your situation fits one of our research protocols or you want to find out more about our current research, visit the Vestibular Ocular Motor Research (VOR) Laboratory or email our center.

How do I make a gift?

The generosity of patients and other donors like you helps sustain our work, meet our goals and achieve our mission. Thank you for considering making a gift to support work related to neuro-visual and vestibular disorders. Even small gifts make a big difference.

If you’d like to donate right now, click here (be sure to choose the Neuro-Visual and Vestibular Disorders Center Fund when filling out the form).

If you’d like to discuss your donation first, please reach out to Heather Culp, senior director in our development office at 443-287-7870 or email our center.

Request an Appointment

Maryland Patients

To request an appointment or refer a patient, please contact the Vestibular Disorder Staff at 410-955-3319.
Request an Appointment

Adult Neurology: 410-955-9441
Pediatric Neurology: 410-955-4259
Adult Neurosurgery: 410-955-6406
Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337

 

Traveling for Care?

Whether you're crossing the country or the globe, we make it easy to access world-class care at Johns Hopkins.

Outside of Maryland (toll free)
410-464-6713

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International Patients
+1-410-502-7683

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