Without realising it, our bodies work quite hard in order to remain balanced. Our eyes are connected to our ears via the vestibulo-ocular reflex. This allows us to focus and stabilise an image when we turn our heads. We also have balance organs in our ears, which sends information to our brains to tell us when we are making movements in certain planes. Imagine your ears working like the wings on an aeroplane. For some people balance problems or vertigo is linked to the inner ear and for others, it may be linked to problems in the central pathway, leading up to the brain.
All of this information needs to pair up with our muscles, spine and surroundings in order for us to feel balanced. If one or more of the signals are impaired or broken the result can be dizziness.
Common Causes of vertigo
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). This type of dizziness usually presents as you get older or following head trauma. It is a balance condition that affects the semi-circular canals in the inner ear. It is linked to the displacement of crystals of calcium carbonate which moves around or attaches to areas it shouldn’t be. Symptoms include dizziness when you move your head, for example when you roll over in bed or dizziness when hanging up the clothes. This type of dizziness can be tested for and treated easily for most people.
Acoustic Neuroma is a benign tumour that grows on the eighth cranial nerve. It is a slow-growing tumour and quite often just monitored for growth. For some people, it can result in causes of dizziness. Other symptoms include an asymmetric hearing loss (hearing loss that is worse on one side or a sudden change in hearing) often accompanied by unilateral tinnitus. Some patients can benefit from rehabilitation exercises.
Meniere’s Disease (MD) is a balance condition that usually comes with a warning sign, commonly a fluctuating low frequency hearing loss and tinnitus. You may also feel a pressure sensation in the ear before you are about to feel dizzy. Episodes of dizziness can occur regularly during the acute phase and then usually burns out leaving you with a permanent hearing loss on one side. Management in the form of rehabilitation exercises can be beneficial.
Migraine associated vertigo (MAV) can present itself with similar symptoms as Meniere’s (MD) and can present without any headaches. Rehabilitation exercises may be beneficial for MAV.
Labyrinthitis and Neuritis are types of vertigo caused by a viral infection. You may experience sudden dizziness and if you have labyrinthitis, the hearing can be affected too. Rehabilitation following this type of dizziness is usually beneficial.
Meet your Audiologist
At PinnaClear, I want to provide personalised care by taking the time to understand your unique needs and tailoring our services to ensure the best possible outcomes. I want to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and involve you in decision-making, ensuring you have an active role in your hearing health journey.
Choosing an independent audiologist over a high street chain offers several distinct advantages that can greatly enhance your hearing health journey.