Your brain receives messages from your ears, eyes and other body parts to help you keep your balance. A balance disorder can negatively impact your life, which can derive from your ears very easily. You may also have worrisome symptoms such as dizziness and unsteadiness. Dizziness can refer to a range of symptoms, including light-headedness and vertigo, which is a sensation of moving or spinning.

The Ear

We as audiologists get specialised training in assessing and treating the auditory and balance systems found in the ear. Your ear has three parts, which is the the outer, middle, and inner ear.

The outer ear

The outer ear consists of the pinna, which is what you see on the side of your head and the ear canal. Therefore, it helps you determine from which direction sound is coming from.

The middle ear

The middle ear starts at your eardrum and includes three tiny bones called ossicles. Sound will cause the eardrum and ossicles to move, which then sends a signal to the brain.

The inner ear

The inner ear is where you will find the cochlea and the main parts of the vestibular system. This system is the sensory systems that provides your brain with information about balance, motion, and the location of your head and body in relation to your surroundings.

There are three loops in your inner ear, called semicircular canals. The first canal senses up-and-down movement. The second canal senses side-to-side movement and the third canal senses tilting movement. Each canal has hair cells and fluid inside, which move when your head or body moves. The hair cells send messages to your brain through the acoustic nerve.

These messages tell your brain about how you are moving and also helps you to keep your balance. If you have a problem in your inner ear, then it is just one of many factors that can lead to struggling to balance, you are feeling dizzy or experience vertigo.

Signs and Symptoms of imbalance

Balance disorders come with different symptoms. As a result, symptoms may occur constantly or just once in a while. Symptoms of balance problems include:

  • difficulty walking and moving around;
  • dizziness;
  • falling;
  • headaches;
  • lightheadedness;
  • motion sickness;
  • nausea;
  • unsteadiness;
  • vertigo;
  • blurry vision

It is vital to find the root of the problem as to what is causing your dizziness and balance problems. A variety of underlying conditions or issues may cause balance problems and dizziness, including:

  • cardiovascular or circulation problems
  • head injury
  • injury to the ear or vestibular system
  • inner ear disorders
  • medication side effects
  • neurological diseases or disorders
  • sudden hearing loss
  • sudden vision changes
  • surgeries, such as cochlear implant placement
  • tumors on the acoustic nerve
  • viruses and other infections
Testing for Balance Disorders and Dizziness

If you have balance problems or feel dizzy more often than not, then it may be symptoms of a larger health issue. We at Strauss Audiology can assist you with balance testing and care to try and establish where the root of your problem lies.

We will first test your hearing and examine your ears. We can provide balance testing to help identify the cause of your balance problems and/or dizziness. Based on this information, we will then make recommendations for treatment.

Treatment for Balance Disorders and Dizziness

Sometimes, balance problems require medical management, such as surgery or medication. You may also benefit from balance treatment called vestibular rehabilitation. We can help improve your balance and reduce dizziness and any other symptoms that contribute to you feeling poorly.

About Strauss Audiology
Strauss Audiology is a professional audiology business in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, offering expert, effective hearing advice that is tailored to clients’ unique hearing needs. We conduct hearing evaluations, hearing tests and vertigo assessments, and provide a range of solutions to improve and protect clients’ hearing. This includes providing hearing aids to Cape Town clients. With 16 years of experience, and with the qualifications and certifications to deliver leading hearing care, you can trust us to take care of your hearing needs.

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