Balance

Restoring Your Balance

Losing your balance is both an unsettling experience and can be dangerous, especially if you fall and hit your head or break bones.  Imbalance can happen for a variety of reasons–from dizziness to light-headedness.  If you find yourself catching your body after sitting up, standing up, reaching for an object, or any other time you sense a loss of balance, it’s important to diagnose and understand the problem.

Video: Balance

 

Your body uses a number of systems to keep its balance: muscles, bones and joints, eyes, ears, and the cardiovascular system.  If any one of these systems is impaired, there is a chance you could lose your balance.  What makes the Hearing & Balance Institute unique is the state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment used to identify the source of your imbalance.  These diagnostic tests include VNG, ABR, VEMPS, ECOG, Rotary Chair, and Posturography.  Click here to watch videos about each of these specialized tests.

Dizziness Defined
“Dizziness” is a complex term that can be difficult to define.  Dizziness is a general term that most often can be broken down to vertigo, imbalance and light-headedness. Read More

Vertigo Defined
Vertigo is the sensation of rotational movement of self or surroundings.  It is typically caused by problems of the peripheral (inner ear and balance nerve) or central (brainstem and/or cerebellum) portions of the body’s balance systems. Read More

Light-headedness Defined
Medically known as presyncope, it is the uncomfortable sensation that precedes fainting.  Everyone has experienced a mild form of this when standing up too quickly.  This symptom becomes concerning when it comes in long-lasting episodes.

Here are common types of ‘dizzy’ disorders seen at the Hearing & Balance Institute:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV is triggered when the tiny crystals in your inner ear become loose and are displaced in the semi-circular canals of the inner ear, disrupting the flow of the fluid of that canal.  These crystals normally help the body create a sense of balance.  However, when the crystals become loose, a person can experience severe vertigo.  BPPV is treated simply with the help of a physician repositioning the crystals through a series of head and body movements. Read More

Vestibular Neuritis
When the inner ear or nerves connecting to the brain become inflamed, the transmission of sensory information can become impaired resulting in vertigo.  The inflammation is usually caused by a virus, or less commonly by bacteria.  Treatment for Vestibular Neuritis is medication-based, controlling the nausea and suppressing the acute dizziness.  Antiviral and antibacterial medications can also be prescribed as necessary. Read More

Labyrinthitis
When the entire inner ear becomes infected, it is called Labyrinthitis.  Labyrinthitis causes similar symptoms to Vestibular Neuritis with the addition of hearing loss and tinnitus. Read More

Meniere’s Disease
When the ear has an abnormal volume or composition of fluid, a person can experience vertigo as well as hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and a feeling of fullness in the ear.  These symptoms can also be caused by drainage problems, viral infections, allergies, head trauma, and migraines.  After a complete hearing and balance assessment, your physician will work with you to help you heal from the fluid imbalance.  Treatments are aimed at controlling symptoms and may include low-sodium diets, medication, surgery, and other noninvasive rehabilitation therapies and exercises. Read More