Do you feel head spins when lying down or when you get up too quickly? There are many words used to describe the many sensations we feel when we experience balance issues. It may simply be an unsteadiness or can be as serious as a fall.
Dizziness is a term often used to describe a range of abnormal sensations such as feeling faint, unsteady, weak, or woozy. Vertigo is a form of dizziness that makes you feel like the room is spinning around you.
A functioning balance system involves a complex co-ordination of our brain, inner ear, eyes, and muscle receptors. Balance or Vestibular Testing is an important part of diagnosing balance issues.
A functioning Balance System involves the careful co-ordination of a number of our sensory systems including our vision, our vestibular system (inner ear), and the sensing receptors in our feet and postural muscles. Sensory information is then sent to our brains to maintain our balance.
A dysfunction in any of these systems can create balance disorder. If you are suffering from dizzy spells, your doctor will request vestibular testing with an Audiologist as a first step in assessing balance issues.
- Feeling faint
- Nausea or feeling woozy
- Room Spinning (Vertigo)
- Losing your balance and feeling unsteady
- Feeling like you are going to fall over
- Rearing off to one side when you are walking
- Vision changes such as blurriness
- Confusion and disorientation
These symptoms may also indicate more serious health conditions. Please seek medical advice.
Dizziness and Vertigo are words that we sometimes use interchangeably. But, they actually mean different things medically. Dizziness is used to describe any disorientation of your body, unsteadiness, lost of balance, lightheadedness, etc. Vertigo typically describes a spinning sensation such as the room spinning and can be extremely debilitating. The most common cause of vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV which can be comprehensively assessed by our Audiologist.
Dizziness have many causes including inner ear problems, motion sickness and side effects from some medications. It can also be caused by more serious underlying health conditions like low or high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, infections, or injuries. Your doctor may request vestibular assessment with our audiologist if inner ear dysfunction is suspected.
About 20% of those over the age of 70 commonly experience imbalance or unsteadiness. The causes of dizziness can be many, but 50% of balance issues in older adults is caused by aa condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). The condition is easily treated in most cases.
At Ability Hearing and Balance, we provide balance or vestibular testing that includes Head Impulse (vHIT), Eye Movement Assessments, and Tests of the Utricle (oVEMP) and Saccule (cVEMP)
Benign Paroxysymal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV is the most common cause of balance disorder. BPPV is triggered by certain head movements such as rolling over in bed or tipping your head back. BPPV is caused by a loosening of tiny crystals in your inner ear. BPPV is easily treatable.
Vestibular Testing Equipment Hobart
Our Audiologists evaluate your balance system by measuring your eye movements during movement. By doing this, we can evaluate how well your inner ear is responding and where the problem may be.
Can Balance Disorders be Cured?
Dizziness treatment depends on the cause of the balance problem. BPPV can be easily treated with the Epley maneuvers. Treatment for other disorders may require a multidisciplinary approach involving your doctor, physiotherapist, as well as our audiologist.
Seek immediate medical attention if you are dizzy, and experiencing any of the following symptoms: Chest Pain; Severe Headache; High Fever; Head Injury; Shortness of Breath; Irregular Heartbeat; Seizures; Stiff Neck; Sudden changes in Speech, Vision or Hearing; Vomiting; Weakness or Numbness in your Face; Weakness in your arm or leg.