Vestibular Balance Disorder
Your balance and hearing all under one roof!
Your ears are responsible for two important functions in your daily life
Additionally, bodies of vital fluids exist in semi-circular tubes within your ear, which move with gravity to let the brain know if you are nodding your head up and down or looking right to left. However, this delicate system is thrown into disarray when the ear experiences an issue, and this can impact both balance and hearing, leading to a Vestibular Balance Disorder.
There are many types of balance disorders including:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Ménière’s Disease
- Vestibular Neuronitis
How a balance disorder can affect you?
If your balance is impaired, you may have difficulty maintaining orientation. For example, you may experience the “room spinning” or not being able to walk without staggering. You may not even be able to get out of bed without stumbling. Additional symptoms include:
- A sensation of dizziness or vertigo (spinning)
- A feeling of falling
- Light headedness
- Visual blurring
Although it is not always evident where the problem lies when it comes to balance issues, hearing loss has been demonstrated to have a huge impact on your balance, and those with hearing loss are at a heightened risk of falls. Recent studies have shown that those with hearing loss are three times as likely to fall or have balance issues. Those with hearing loss are also hospitalized more often than their hearing peers.
Although there could be many reasons for vestibular problems, we believe treating hearing issues is a good place to start. That’s why a hearing test is usually the first step. We are also one of the few audiology clinics to offer testing and treatment for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), one of the most common causes of dizziness.
If hearing loss is detected, then the patient may need hearing aids. These have been shown to improve the quality and amount of sound reaching the eardrum, which helps give the brain a better idea of one’s surroundings. It helps the individual identify auditory landmarks around them, which contributes to their sense of balance.