According to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about 15% of American adults experienced a balance or dizziness problem in 2008. A balance disorder causes you to feel dizzy or unsteady while sitting, standing, or laying down. If you are walking, you may feel like you are tipping over. Balance disorders can be caused by medications, head injury, an ear infection or other issues affecting the brain or inner ear. Like other ear and hearing problems, hearing aids may help with balance disorders.
Special canals in the inner ear contain fluid and sensory hair cells which help monitor the position of your head in relation to gravity and motion, directly connecting inner ear problems with balance. For example, Meniere’s disease, an inner ear condition, usually results in balance issues like vertigo and feeling dizzy. An estimated two percent of the general population suffers from vertigo, a balance disorder symptom in which you experience dizziness or a spinning sensation. Seventy-five percent of vertigo patients also have hearing loss.
Certain balance disorders and diseases can also contribute to fluctuations of hearing loss, which can cause mixed hearing loss and create permanent hearing loss that gets worse with time. They can also cause patients to experience ringing in the ears, or uneven feelings of pressure in the ears. Fortunately, hearing aids can help. Aside from treating the hearing loss some balance disorder patients experience, hearing aids can also help alleviate vertigo and other bouts of dizziness associated with balance disorders by equalizing the hearing in both ears.
Testing for balance disorders, usually called vestibular or balance assessments, can be conducted by an audiologist. Whether acute, episodic, or chronic, experiencing any of the below symptoms may warrant a visit to an audiologist:
- Fullness in the ear
- Hearing loss
If you are in the South Florida area and experience these symptoms or other hearing related issues, contact New Generation Hearing Centers today for a free consultation.