Balance Disorders

If you are experiencing unexplained bouts of dizziness or a lack of balance, ears may be to blame. Your ears not only give you the ability to hear, but they also play a pivotal role in balance. Diagnosing a balance-related disorder is no easy task. It requires the expertise of a licensed audiologist. Our staff has several diagnostic tests that can help get to the bottom of your balance disorder.

Diagnostic Tests for Balance Disorders

General Balance Test
General balance tests involve a physical exam. Our staff will guide you through a series of positions that will check for a balance disorder. If a disorder presents during general tests, more specific diagnostics will usually be recommended.
Hearing Test
Hearing loss or damage is usually linked to a balance disorder. In order to check for this causal factor, our team will perform one or more hearing tests. These tests are non-invasive and can provide our staff with immediate feedback on your condition.
Electronystagmography (ENG)
An ENG records the movement of your eyes. These movements play a role in balance and vestibular function. Irregularities with involuntary eye movements can lead to a balance disorder.
ENG records these movements with tiny electrodes. The electrodes are positioned just beneath, beside, and above your eyes. This test can take up to 90 minutes, depending on the specifics of your condition.
The VEMP (vestibular evoked myogenic potentials) test will measure how specific muscles react to sound. During the test, you will sit in a reclined chair and put on earphones. Our staff members will place a sensor pad on your forehead, under your eyes, and on your neck. These pads will record muscular movements when sounds are played through the headphones. Periodically, you will be asked to lift your eyes or head for brief moments.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Balance Disorders

Our staff will use one or more of the above tests to determine the source of your balance disorder. The appropriate treatment will depend largely on the results of these diagnostic tests. Your treatment may include:

Balance Exercises
Minor balance disorders can sometimes be treated with therapist-guided exercise. This therapy teaches you to compensate for imbalances and maintain an active lifestyle.
Lifestyle Changes
A serious cause of balance disorder is known as Meniere’s disease. Chronic migraines can also cause balance disorders. Dietary and lifestyle changes can sometimes ease symptoms.
Some prescription medications can curb the symptoms of vertigo. These medications do not cure the ailment, but they can control your dizziness and vomiting.
Surgical intervention may be recommended for Meniere’s disease. If you are diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, surgery may also be necessary.

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