If you regularly feel like your environment is spinning, or if you lose your balance easily, you may be experiencing bouts of vertigo. Vertigo is commonly caused by problems in the inner ear, but can sometimes be associated with a neck or head injury, migraine headaches, certain medications, or brain problems such as a tumor or stroke. If you are experiencing unexplained balance issues, it may be time to contact an audiologist for a thorough examination.
Explanation of Dizziness
Dizziness is often one of the first symptoms that a person will experience that will prompt him or her to seek medical care. Many people associate the term 'dizziness' with various meanings. It can refer to a sensation of lightheadedness in which the individual may feel weak or even pass out. It can also refer to a sensation of moving or spinning while sitting or standing still.
Lightheadedness is generally caused by a reduction in blood supply to the brain. Balance issues are most often caused by a problem within the balance centers of the inner ear, an area referred to as the vestibular system. It's important to note that vertigo is not a condition itself, but certainly a symptom of another condition. Explaining exactly what symptoms you are experiencing can help your audiologist form a better diagnosis.
When to Seek Medical Help
If you suspect that your dizziness is associated with an inner ear problem, consider making an appointment with an experienced audiologist. Audiologists are medical professionals who conduct hearing screenings, treat hearing loss, and help to diagnosis related balance problems. If your disequilibrium is chronic and other conditions have been ruled out, make an appointment with a hearing specialist.
Your hearing should also be monitored if you experience any of the following:
– Frequent ear infections
– Difficulty hearing over the phone
– Difficulty understanding speech
– Missing common sounds, such as the doorbell
– Associating speech with mumbling
– Confusion about where sounds are coming from
– Trouble following conversations
Treatment for Dizziness
To properly treat vertigo or dizziness, the underlying medical condition must be identified and treated. Vestibular neuritis (labyrinthitis) is one common cause of vertigo caused by an inflammation of nerve cells in the cranial nerve or inner ear. Meniere disease, an abnormal buildup of fluid in the inner ear, is another possibility. Migraine headaches, epilepsy, otitis media, and acoustic neuroma can also cause dizziness.
In a majority of cases, vertigo can be successfully treated through a treatment known as vestibular rehabilitation. This non-medical treatment involves assisting the patient in relieving vertigo when placed in various positions. Some of these postures may trigger an episode of vertigo. If the treatment is performed properly, the patient should experience some relief.
Problems with disequilibrium can signal serious health problems that require prompt medical attention. Vertigo can be tested for in many different ways using audiological diagnosis testing equipment and practices. Once your underlining condition has been identified and appreciated, you can work with your audiologist to reduce and essentially eliminate your dizziness episodes.