Your body is a unique system that is designed to work together in perfect equilibrium.

Although you use your ears every day, you might not realize the important role they play in helping you maintain balance.

When the equilibrium between your ears, nervous system, and brain are off-balance, you could experience bouts of dizziness, disorientation, and imbalance.

But how do you know what’s causing it? And what can you do to manage your symptoms?

The Connection Between Ears And Balance

Though it may be one of the least talked about systems in your body, the balance system helps you stand up, walk around, and move without falling over.

Known as the vestibular system, your muscles, joints, eyes, and ears send signals to your brain to help maintain balance.

Your inner ear is a key to your balance system. It is made up of three main areas, called semicircular canals.

Each canal has a job to keep equilibrium within your balance system. One canal works by sensing movements that are side-to-side, while the other two sense tilting and up-and-down movement.

Your inner ear informs your brain of the position of your head when it’s not in motion alongside what your body is doing in that movement.

The brain uses all of this information, along with your other senses, to help you keep your balance.

Balance Assessment

What Could Cause Dizziness And Imbalance?

When you move, fluid and hair cells within your ear move around and send messages to your brain through your nerves.

These messages are then used by the brain to tell your body where you are within that space.

But when this system is thrown out of equilibrium for any reason, regulating balance can be a problem.

Balance and dizziness issues do not just happen by themselves and are most often caused by another problem.

While balance issues are more commonly associated with general hearing loss, it’s important to note that the two are not always related.

Imbalance and dizziness can feel differently, depending on the cause and person. Dizziness feels like lightheadedness, unsteadiness, and faintness.

Disequilibrium tends to feel more like unsteadiness and lack of balance. Vertigo, on the other hand, has a distinctive spinning feeling and the loss of perception of movement.

Simple and common problems related to the ear include swimmer’s ear, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), build-up of earwax, and more.

But sometimes, more severe problems may be occurring within your ear, brain, and nerves. Here are just some of the other reasons why you could be feeling dizzy or off-balance:

Labyrinthitis

The part of your ear that controls balance is called the labyrinth. Labyrinthitis is caused when a virus occurs with your ear’s labyrinth, which can cause nausea, dizziness, and loss of hearing.

Meniere’s Disease

When increased pressure of endolymph or additional potassium builds up in the inner ear where it does not belong, it can cause attacks of vertigo, tinnitus, ear fullness, and hearing loss. With Meniere’s Disease, hearing loss will develop as it worsens.

Vascular Vertigo

Vertigo symptoms can occur when you aren’t getting enough healthy blood supply to your ears. This is known as vascular vertigo and can be caused by things like an unhealthy lifestyle, frequent migraines, obesity, and smoking.

At Acadian Hearing Services, we’re Lake Charles’ leading hearing and balance experts who specialize in the treatment of vertigo, physical therapy for balance, as well as vestibular rehabilitation therapy for the treatment of all dizziness and balance problems.

Arteriosclerosis

Similar to vascular vertigo, this condition occurs when blood flow to the ears is restricted or limited. Arteriosclerosis is often precipitated by high blood pressure, unhealthy diets, smoking, and obesity.

Arteriosclerosis can cause dizziness and balance problems. Our balance specialists at Acadian Hearing Service can provide effective rehabilitation therapy for people experiencing imbalance from arteriosclerosis.

Post-Traumatic Vertigo

This type of vertigo occurs after you’ve experienced an injury or trauma to the neck or head. These injuries cause problems within the ear and create vertigo-like symptoms. Our balance specialists in Lake Charles are equipped to diagnose and provide treatment for such balance problems.

Vestibular Neuritis

This complication of the inner ear results from an infection in or around your inner ear and nerves connecting it to the brain. With this infection, inflammation occurs and causes problems with dizziness, balance, and vertigo.

Schedule an appointment with our leading Lake Charles audiologists who test for vertigo and provide comprehensive balance and vestibular therapy.

Acoustic Neuroma

With acoustic neuroma, a non-cancerous growth appears over time in the brain. It can cause symptoms like headaches, hearing loss, difficulty swallowing, and tinnitus.

If you or a loved one are concerned about balance disorder symptoms, our specialists in Lake Charles can help by providing balance therapy as a treatment for various inner ear and balance issues.

Click here to schedule an appointment.

What To Do Next

The relationships between balance and hearing can have substantial effects on your medical, physical, emotional, social, and professional life.

If you think you are experiencing problems with dizziness or imbalance, it is crucial to seek the advice of a hearing and balance doctor for the correct treatment and therapy for your challenges.

At Acadian Hearing Services in Lake Charles, we’ve been Louisiana’s leading balance specialists for over 30 years, specializing in vertigo, dizziness, and crystal problems.

Our team of audiology doctors can conduct a series of simple, non-invasive tests to diagnose your condition and be able to perform treatments to shift the balance crystals out of their dislodged position and into their proper position in the inner ear.

To learn more or to schedule a comprehensive balance assessment with one of our experts, please click here.

We look forward to meeting you soon.

 

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Dr. Heidi J Sorrells - Audiologist

Dr. Heidi J. Sorrells obtained her doctorate degree from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is a certified audiologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and she holds a Louisiana and a Texas audiology license. Dr. Sorrells enjoys all aspects of working in a private practice audiology clinic but especially loves the challenges of vestibular (balance) assessment and rehabilitation.