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

Balance Evaluations

Many people experience dizziness throughout their lives. There are many culprits behind temporary dizziness:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Fluid in ear
  • Overheated

But there can be several balance disorders which need to be addressed or the balance problems can have a severe impact on quality of life.

Balance Disorder Symptoms

Many people have developed coping methods to deal with their balance disorder to keep from feeling unsteady as they move around. However, this is just a stop-gap measure. Should you display some or all of the symptoms below in conjunction with movement, you may have a balance disorder.

  • Falling over from 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 symptoms, you may also deal with side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, blood pressure changes, vomiting, anxiety, heart rate changes, panic, and fear. There is no set duration when it comes to experiencing balance disorder symptoms. If you find yourself experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you will want to come in so our audiologists can perform a balance evaluation.

Causes Behind Balance Disorders

As varied as the symptoms of balance disorders are, the causes behind the disorders are equally diverse.

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 the two are linked.

Skeletal – Changes in your skeleton like arthritis 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 inner ear injury, can greatly affect your balance.

Infection – While some balance affecting infections, like a sinus infection, are temporary, others can have more severe effects if not taking seriously. Pneumonia is sometimes first diagnosed because a patient was having balance problems.

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.

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.

Balance Disorder Treatments

There are several things our audiologist will do to clarify which treatment method would be most effective for you.

  • Go over your current medications to see if they are affecting your balance.
  • Cover your medical history as well as your family’s medical background.

Once these things have been reviewed, there are several methods of treatment our audiologists may recommend. As not all balance issues can be resolved, some treatment methods are aimed at mitigating the danger presented by balance disorders.

  • Medication – Some balance disorders are induced by diseases such as Ménière’s disease. In cases like this, you may be asked to implement lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and dietary changes. Medications to ease nausea may also be prescribed.
  • Physical therapy – For balance disorders which cannot be resolved but only managed, our audiologists may recommend physical therapy with a specialist in vestibular rehabilitation therapy. The therapist will help you train your body to respond more appropriately through a series of specialized exercises.
  • Surgery – In some cases, surgery to repair your damaged inner ear may be recommended to resolve both balance problems and hearing loss.
  • Lifestyle changes – For balance disorders which need to be managed and cannot be completely resolved, our audiologists may recommend several kinds of lifestyle changes such as adding handrails to your home, using a walker or cane, wearing only low shoes, only walking through well-lit rooms, and no longer driving.

Dealing with a balance issue can be disorienting and frightening. If you are concerned that you are struggling with a balance disorder, contact us today and allow our audiologists to help you put your world back on an even keel.