October 6, 2022

Dizziness and imbalance issues affect about one third of people between the ages of 65-75 years old, and has been cited as the top issue for people 70+. Dizziness is common, but what causes it?

It’s well-known that balance issues are usually due to a fluid irregularity in the inner ear. Vertigo and other balance disorders can be caused by buildup of fluid, resulting in not only dizziness and feelings of imbalance but even eye spasms.

Researchers have been working hard to further advancements to detect and relieve this issue with something unexpected: MRI magnets!

Several years ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins discovered that inner ear fluid can be influenced by the magnetic field of an MRI. We already knew that balance disorders like Vertigo are often caused by inner ear fluid buildup, and this can result in dizziness, feelings of imbalance and eye spasms.

The drawing force of an MRI magnet may be able to effectively recognize and address inner ear problems by manipulating the pressure and fluid levels in the inner ear.

Since the diagnosis protocols for vertigo can be invasive and uncomfortable, sufferers may welcome this development testing and treatment in the near future.

What Do Balance Disorders Look Like?

Symptoms of vertigo and other balance disorders may involve dizziness, spinning, and feelings of vertigo, which can lead to feelings of disorientation, confusion, blurred vision, and lightheadedness. Episodes of dizziness and imbalance are pretty common, and happen to about 40% of adults at least once in life.

Dizziness could be a fluke if it happens just once, but if it is recurring, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor. From there a specialist or audiologist may be able to diagnose source of the symptoms.

Various reasons can trigger dizziness or vertigo, from pharmaceutical drugs to a head injury or an ear infection. Methods of testing to diagnose the cause behind balance issues may vary, from an MRI or CT scan to Electronystagmography (a sequence of assessments that screen natural eye movements). Other methods include Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) which tests motor control and balance function in changing situations, and VEMP (Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential) which evaluates whether the sensory cells and vestibular nerve of the inner ear are properly functioning.

Your audiologist might additionally perform a hearing evaluation to see if you are experiencing any hearing impairment along with dizziness.

If you have been having an ongoing problem with dizziness, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your audiologist or primary physician to determine the root cause.

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

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