Dizziness & Imbalance
Dizziness, Loss of Balance and Vertigo
Your ears aren’t just important for hearing; they also play a critical role in your balance. In fact, dizziness is said to be the most common complaint that physicians receive from patients. Per the National Institute of Health (NIH), 7 in 10 individuals will experience prolonged dizziness at some point in their lives.
Acute or chronic dizziness can be a serious problem, resulting in a loss of balance and even nausea and vomiting. Dizziness can result in major issues in terms of quality of life, while also impairing your ability to perform everyday tasks, such as walking or driving.
Equilibrium disorders can encompass many different ailments and conditions. The first category includes instances of dizziness, vertigo and motion intolerance occurring in an episodic basis. You may experience a sudden and acute attack lasting anywhere from a matter of seconds to several hours. Certain activities like rapid movements, walking or riding in a vehicle can trigger these episodes.
The second type of equilibrium disorder is persistent and continual, lasting days, weeks or even months or years. You may experience a feeling of unsteadiness, dizziness or what some call a “loss of sure-footedness.”
Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to patients who are suffering from these ailments. Major medical advances have been made in the past decade, offering relief to individuals who previously had no source of relief.
Facts About Vertigo, Dizziness, and Imbalance
- Over 90 million Americans suffer from problems with dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance at some point in life.
- Annually, more than nine million Americans will consult a doctor due to dizziness and vertigo. This is the most common complaint amongst individuals age 70 and older.
- Head trauma and whiplash are common causes of dizziness and poor balance.
- Balance-related falls are responsible for half of all accidental deaths in senior citizens, plus 300,000 hip fractures annually.
- Inner ear disorders like Meniere’s Disease, benign positional vertigo, endolymphatic hydrops, and perilymph fistula can be hard to diagnose as their symptoms can be rather vague. Balance can impact your ability to walk, stand, read, and think clearly. It can also cause other issues like vomiting, nausea or weight gain due to an inability to exercise. As a result, these issues can be misdiagnosed as clinical depression, multiple sclerosis and a number of other ailments.
- Children suffering from imbalance and vestibular disorders (which are often treatable) misdiagnosed with conditions such as dyslexia and even psychological disturbances. Some children also struggle at school, resulting in a misdiagnosis of a learning disability.
- Ear infections can result in more than just pain and discomfort. Ear infections like otitis media can cause serious balance and vestibular disorders.
Our audiologists take pride in our ability to help patients who are seeking help to overcome these and other ear-related disorders and ailments. At Hearing, Balance & Speech Center, we are committed to helping patients reclaim their sense of normalcy and their ability to live a normal life. If you’re suffering balance and hearing problems, contact us to discuss your unique needs and challenges.