Did you know that dizziness is one of the most common complaints doctors receive from their geriatric patients? Most of us have been dizzy at one point in time. Dizziness can be due to standing up too quickly, poor nutrition, or due to a balance disorder. In audiology, a balance issue is a sign that there may be an issue within the ear. Dizziness is just one sign of a balance disorder, others include vertigo, lightheadedness, falling, blurred vision, and disorientation.
Hearing and balance are often connected because they are both located within the inner ear. Our ability to stay balanced largely depends on how well our central nervous system can gather information from our inner ear, along with other important parts of our body. Balance disorders can stem from an ear infection, any kind of head trauma, and or from our genetic make up.
The fluid in the inner ear is crucial to keeping our balance. When there is a sudden change to the fluids we experience loss of balance. These changes could be a buildup of fluid in the ear or fluid movement throughout the ear. A solid diagnosis for a balance disorder can be difficult, but with the help of an ear, nose, a throat doctor called an otolaryngologist a correct diagnosis and personalized treatment plan can be constructed for you.
When seeing an otolaryngologist for a diagnosis you can expect to have a hearing exam, blood work, and possibly even brain imaging preformed. These tests all help create a personal diagnosis. It is also extremely important to discuss all balance and hearing concerns with your doctor to ensure an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment for your balance disorder may include dietary changes, medicine, and in some cases prosthesis. With technology and medicine constantly changing and improving, proper treatment can can definitely help.