Associated Audiologists Blog

How dizziness and the ear are linked

Posted by Associated Audiologists on Aug 9, 2016 7:30:00 AM

causes and treatments of dizzinessThink back to when you were a child: Did you ever go too fast on a merry-go-round? That feeling of dizziness might have been a rush then, but it was a sensation that faded quickly. For millions of adults, dizziness is not a passing feeling — it’s a real issue that affects their everyday activities and quality of life.

Read on to learn more, and contact Associated Audiologists if you or a loved one is suffering from dizziness or vertigo.

Understanding dizziness

There are many different ways to describe dizziness and a variety of symptoms that are tied to it. For the most part, individuals with dizziness may complain of varying symptoms, including (but not limited to) lightheadedness, vertigo, imbalance, feeling faint, etc. Dizziness may be a lingering sensation or a fleeting one, and has varying degrees of intensity. Vertigo occurs when an individual experiences a sensation of spinning.

The link between the ear and dizziness

The inner ear is our primary organ for equilibrium. An issue with the inner ear can cause dizziness, and in particular vertigo.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV happens when the small calcium carbonate particles (otoconia) found in the inner ear become displaced and shift to one of the ear’s semicircular canals. BPPV is characterized by short attacks of vertigo (spinning dizziness) with a change in position, such as laying down, rising, rolling in bed, bending at the waist, and looking up or down. BPPV affects approximately 50 percent of people over 70 years old.

Treatments for BPPV

Fortunately, this common and troubling condition can be treated. There are some treatment options your audiologist might recommend:

  • Canalith repositioning — The gold standard of treatment for this condition is called canalith repositioning. This non-invasive treatment involves repositioning the displaced calcium carbonate particles back to where they belong. This treatment can eliminate the symptoms of BPPV in more than 95 percent of cases.
  • Other alternatives — In rare cases where canalith repositioning isn’t effective, your audiologist may refer you to a specialist for further testing and treatment.

Long-term effects of dizziness

The average dizzy patient sees nearly five doctors before getting a diagnosis, let alone treatment. Fortunately, we have specialists who are experts in identify the cause of and treating dizziness and balance problems. These are not symptoms that you have to learn to live with.

If you or a loved one is suffering from dizziness or balance problems, don’t let it stop you from living life to the fullest. Associated Audiologists can help diagnose and treat your symptoms. Contact us today to set up a consultation and discuss your options.

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Topics: Audiologist, dizziness, hearing loss and dizziness, vertigo

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