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Utah: 435-688-8991 Nevada: 702-896-0031

Balance Disorders

Some people have developed some limited coping methods to deal with their balance issues to keep from feeling unsteady as they move around. However, without proper treatment, these coping methods are usually just a stop-gap measure.

With the help of our doctors of audiology, you can have your balance disorder diagnosed as well as treated, so it won’t have the ability to negatively impact your life.

What Is A Balance Disorder?

A balance disorder is an internal disturbance which can cause a person to feel off-balance or unsteady as they attempt to walk or even just stand up. This balance disorientation can also be accompanied by sensations of dizziness, floating, or spinning, which can even occur if you are sitting or being still and lying down.

Balance Disorder Signs And Symptoms

Should you display some or all of the symptoms below in conjunction with movement, you may have a balance disorder.

  • Falling over from a standing position
  • Sensation of falling
  • Dizziness
  • Spinning feeling (vertigo)
  • Blurring vision without visible irritant
  • Faintness when standing or laying down
  • Long-lasting disorientation and/or confusion
  • Lightheaded

When dealing with these balance disorder symptoms, you may also deal with other side-effects from the loss of balance, such as diarrhea, nausea, blood pressure changes, vomiting, anxiety, heart rate changes, panic, and fear.

Potential Causes Of Balance Disorders

From dizziness to prolonged vertigo, there can be many things which trigger you to have a balance disorder. Some of the top potential causes of balance disorders are:

  • Hearing loss – Balance disorders can also be linked to sensorineural hearing loss. If the hair cells in the semicircular canals in the inner ear are damaged by loud noise exposure like the hair cells in the cochlea, then not only can you have hearing loss but also struggle with your balance.
  • Medications – Some medications are ototoxic, which means they can damage your hearing in either temporary or permanent ways. This, in turn, can affect your balance, as mentioned above.
  • Skeletal – Changes in your skeleton, such as developing arthritis or bones which have healed after a break or fracture, can cause balance issues as the discomfort interferes with your normal movement.
  • Visual – If you have a visually-related imbalance, it may turn out that your eyes have lost some depth perception or that your eye muscles are not tracking in time with your movements.
  • Trauma – Physical trauma, like receiving a head or neck injury, can greatly affect your balance. In some cases, the balance disorder can be due to the trauma damaging the inner ear, or via trauma to the area of the brain which controls your motor skills.
  • Infection – While some balance-affecting infections, like a sinus infection, are temporary, others can have more severe effects if not taken seriously. Pneumonia is sometimes first diagnosed because a patient was having balance problems, so it’s best not to dismiss balance problems if you are feeling under the weather.
  • Blood pressure – Those with chronic low blood pressure (hypotension) often struggle with balance disorders, especially as they initially move into a standing position.
  • Age – While not all adults will develop a balance disorder as they age, you are at a higher risk of developing one. Part of this may be due to age-related hearing loss, so it is important to have a diagnostic hearing evaluation to assess the potential causes.
  • Blood sugar levels – Those who struggle low blood sugar can struggle with feelings of dizziness and vertigo.

There are also cases of balance disorders with no known cause. While this can be frustrating for the person dealing with the balance disorder, our audiologists can still help treat your balance disorder.

Types Of Balance Disorders

There are over a dozen different balance disorders, with some being more common than others. Out of these disorders, some of the most common ones which you may encounter are:

  • Benign Paroxysmal positional vertigo
  • Migraine aura
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis
  • Perilymph fistula
  • Sensory ataxia
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Mal de debarquement syndrome (MdDS)

In many cases, the various balance disorders share similar symptoms as well as some of the related causes mentioned. This shared commonality is why it is important to have a balance evaluation to help rule out some potential sources of your balance disorder and see if your inner ear may be the culprit.

How Balance Disorders Can Be Tested And Treated

Not every hearing health care professional can test you for balance disorder. But, here at Hearing & Balance Doctors, our doctors of audiology can perform an in-depth balance evaluation to test for balance problems. Some of the steps involved in a balance evaluation are:

  • Making an appointment for a balance evaluation
  • Filling out the balance patient packet and following the evaluation preparation instructions
  • Review medical history with our audiologists
  • Have a hearing evaluation
  • Perform various balance tests

With the information gathered by our doctors of audiology before and during your balance evaluation, they will be able to determine what treatment route will best work for your needs.

Hearing & Balance Doctors Can Treat Balance Disorders

If you believe that you may have a balance disorder and need to be tested to move forward with a treatment plan, contact us. You can undergo a balance evaluation with one of our doctors of audiology and finally receive the help you need to combat your balance disorder.