Our equilibrium is a complex interaction that requires solid communication between our ears, eyes, and sense of touch as perceived by our feet, muscles, and joints. In order to maintain our center of gravity, our central nervous system must receive all three of these signals and then correctly transmit them to the cerebellum.
When signals from our senses fail to reach the cerebellum, or reach it with the wrong message, we experience that miscommunication as a loss of balance, a dizzy spell, or—if we’re exceptionally unlucky—a stumble or fall.
A balance disorder can sometimes be a symptom of other medical conditions. Proper medical attention, including a thorough medical history and assessment of the balance system is important to identify the cause and ensure proper treatment options.
Dizziness can be caused by:
- Infections of the middle ear
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – displacement of otoconia (crystals) from the balance organ of the inner ear
- Vestibular neuronitis – inflammation of the vestibular nerve
- Larbyrinthis – virus of the inner ear
- Meniere’s disease – fluid buildup in the inner ear
- Neck problems
- Central problem
- And more…
In conjunction with NW Iowa ENT, we will complete a thorough evaluation if you experience balance problems or dizziness. Our balance lab can perform a series of tests to assist in diagnosis and treatment of your problem.
If your assessment shows that you do have a balance problem, your doctor may recommend one of several treatments or balance therapies to help you get back on your feet.
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy
“Vestibular rehabilitation” is the medical term for balance retraining. It is performed by a physical therapist and each retraining program is tailored specifically to a patient’s balance needs.
Many cases of vertigo can be resolved with a simple in-office positioning procedure. A Canalith Repositioning Maneuver is treatment that takes the patient through a series of head and body positions designed to put loosened otoconia debris (crystals) back onto the balance organ.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Caffeine, salt, alcohol, nicotine, and dehydration can all have a considerable impact on your sense of balance. When you visit us at Jorgensen Hearing Center, we will conduct a full review of your prescription medications, diet, and daily habits to determine whether your balance issues can be controlled at home.
If you or a loved one is experiencing dizziness or balance problems, please call one of our convenient locations to set up an appointment. We look forward to serving you.