Have you ever had an episode of vertigo? It’s scary: a sudden feeling of dizziness or that you can’t keep your balance. You may have to sit down or lay down until it passes–sometimes it lasts all day!
If you’ve had an episode like this you have probably visited your doctor to find out what is going on. You may have been surprised to find that the origin of vertigo and other balance issues is your inner ears.
What do my ears have to do with standing up or walking normally?
Our ears are right next to our brains… and the fluids that are in the canals and connections surrounding the ears and connecting them to the brain. When there is an imbalance or disruption in those fluids, vertigo and other balance issues can result.
What causes problems with balance?
Anything that affects the ears or the brain can also affect balance: a head trauma, an ear infection, or even certain medications. Sometimes there is no obvious cause and an episode of vertigo will seem to come out of nowhere. These types of balance issues become more common as we age.
What do I do about it?
Episodes of vertigo are sometimes temporary, but if these episodes recur, you may want to visit your doctor to determine the cause.
The doctor will attempt to determine if medications or a health condition is to blame, then treat you accordingly.
To get ready for an appointment with your doctor, keep the following in mind:
- Think of how to describe the feelings you have. Do you feel dizzy, or like the world is spinning, or that you can’t keep your balance?
- Remember how often these episodes occur. It’s a good idea to write down the dates and times and anything else you ate, medications you took, or activities you did that day.
- Are there any accompanying symptoms or anything specific you notice before or after the episodes?
- Is there anything you do that helps to alleviate the symptoms of dizziness or imbalance?
- Have you fallen or hit your head recently?
- Bring a list of any medications you take, even if they are over the counter or just occasionally.
Since balance disorders have to do with your ears, sometimes hearing loss can accompany them. A yearly hearing exam is always a good idea, and can help to head off any potential problems.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon (925) 394-4646