Hearing and Balance Disorders near Encino, CA
Test Your Balance with Hearing Loss Solutions
Having problems with balance or dizziness? Don’t worry. It’s not you, but it could be a problem in your ear that is causing the balance disorder. People who have a balance disorder often feel dizzy or unsteady, regardless of whether they are standing, lying down or sitting. Sometimes, this is caused by problems within the inner ear. At Hearing Loss Solutions, we perform tests to evaluate hearing and balance disorders near Encino, CA.
What Is a Balance Disorder?
A balance disorder can cause you to feel unsteady, giddy, woozy, or to have a sensation of movement, spinning, or floating. The source for this disorder can be linked to the brain, the nervous system and to an organ in the inner ear called the labyrinth. An important part of our vestibular (balance) system, the labyrinth interacts with other systems in the body, such as the visual system (eyes) and skeletal system (bones and joints) system, to maintain the body’s position.
Within the labyrinth are three fluid-filled structures known as the superior, posterior, and horizontal semicircular canals. Moving fluid within these canals let you know when you are in a rotary (circular) motion. The semicircular canals and the visual and skeletal systems have specific functions that determine your orientation. The vestibule is the region of the inner ear where the semicircular canals converge, close to the cochlea (the hearing organ). The vestibular system works with the visual system to keep objects in focus when the head is moving. Joint and muscle receptors also are important in maintaining balance. The brain receives, interprets, and processes the information from these systems that control your balance.
What Are Some Types of Balance Disorders?
Some of the more common balance disorders are:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): A brief, intense sensation of vertigo that occurs because of a specific positional change of the head. You may experience BPPV when rolling over to the left or right upon getting out of bed in the morning, or when looking up for an object on a high shelf. The cause of BPPV is not known, although it may be caused by an inner ear infection, head injury, or aging.
- Labyrinthitis: An infection or inflammation of the inner ear causing dizziness and loss of balance.
- Ménière’s Disease: An inner ear fluid balance disorder that causes episodes of vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus (a ringing or roaring in the ears), and the sensation of fullness in the ear. The cause of Mèniére’s disease is unknown.
- Vestibular Neuronitis: An infection of the vestibular nerve, generally viral.
- Perilymph Fistula: A leakage of inner ear fluid to the middle ear. It can occur after head injury, physical exertion or, rarely, without a known cause.
Causes & Diagnosis of Balance Disorders
Diagnosis of a balance disorder is difficult. There are many potential causes — including medical conditions and medications. To help evaluate a balance problem, we may request tests to assess the cause and extent of the balance problem depending on your symptoms and health status. We may also perform a hearing test, an electronystagmogram (which measures eye movements and the muscles that control them), or imaging studies of your head and brain. Another possible test is called posturography. For this test, you’ll stand on a special movable platform in front of a patterned screen. Our Audiologist measures how your body moves in response to movement of the platform, the patterned screen, or both. These tests will give us a good idea of what is wrong and if we can fix your balance disorder or dizziness problems.
“Dr. Cohen is an amazing audiologist! She has helped me when my ENT gave me no hope. She came in on a Sunday to treat me before I was even her patient since she understood the way I was feeling. She is a highly skilled, compassionate, educated and beautiful person. I will be eternally grateful for her kindness, empathy, and dedication.”
– Kathy C.
How Are Balance Disorders Treated?
There are various options for treating balance disorders. One option includes treatment for the disease that may be contributing to the balance problem, such as ear infection, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. Individual treatment will vary and will be based upon symptoms, medical history, general health, examination by a physician, and the results of medical tests.
Another treatment option includes balance retraining exercises (vestibular rehabilitation). These customized exercises include movements of the head and body. This form of therapy is thought to promote compensation for the disorder. Vestibular retraining programs are administered by professionals with knowledge and understanding of the vestibular system and its relationship with other systems in the body.
If you are diagnosed with Mèniére’s disease, dietary changes, such as reducing the intake of sodium, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine may be helpful. Some aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin and streptomycin, are also used to treat Ménière’s disease. Systemic streptomycin (given by injection) and topical gentamicin (given directly to the inner ear) are useful for their ability to affect the hair cells of the balance system. Gentamicin also can affect the hair cells of the cochlea, though, and can cause hearing loss. In cases that do not respond to medical management, surgery may be indicated.
If you are experiencing anxiety as a result of your balance disorder, our Audiologist may prescribe a program of talk therapy and/or physical rehabilitation.
Schedule an Appointment for Hearing and Balance Disorders near Encino, CA, Today!
To learn more about treatment for hearing and balance disorders, schedule your Hearing Loss Solutions Consultation by calling our friendly office at 818-989-9001 or clicking here to use our convenient online form. Your appointment includes a review of your medical history, a discussion of your concerns and goals, and an explanation of our process.
During your new patient appointment, we will make sure all of your questions are thoroughly answered about our office, our treatments, our flexible payment options, and anything else that you would like to know about us. Call today – we can’t wait to help restore sound to your world!
As one of the premier hearing centers in Sherman Oaks, CA, our Audiologist and team at Hearing Loss Solutions also provide 5-star-rated hearing care to patients from Encino, Beverly Hills, Studio City & Calabasas, CA, and surrounding areas.