3 Ways an Audiologist Helps with Balance Issues
The connection between our auditory system and our sense of balance is something that is well-known but often little-understood. If you have experienced hearing loss or other issues with your ears like tinnitus, you may have noticed some difficulty balancing since the onset of those problems. The reason for this is that, as well as being responsible for our hearing; the ear also contains our vestibular system – one part of a complex structure responsible for balance and spatial awareness.
If you have been experiencing issues with balance, then one of the best professionals who will be tasked with diagnosis and treatment is an audiologist. These are skilled professionals with expertise in conditions that affect the ears and the hearing. They can also play a vital role in treating balance issues. Below, we will look into three areas that audiologists can offer invaluable help.
Symptoms of balance disorders
There can be several reasons for you to experience dizziness or balance disorders, which also means you could exhibit a handful of different symptoms. While these symptoms may vary, the most commonly observed include:
- Dizziness or vertigo
- A feeling of falling over
- A floating sensation
- Blurred vision
If you notice you are intermittently or regularly experiencing any of the above symptoms, reach out to an audiologist to have an evaluation completed.
Through a series of tests, your audiologist will seek to understand what the mechanism behind your balance issues is. For most people with balance disorders, the problem arises when they move a certain way and when their head is in a certain position. With tests such as the Saccade procedure, which asks you to follow a marker with your eyes, and the Positional test, which gauges your response to positioning your head in certain orientations, the audiologist can understand better why you are experiencing those issues.
In the likely case where your issue with balance comes down to a vestibular imbalance, the audiologist will advise you on a program of vestibular rehabilitation. This trains your balance system to be more comfortable with certain movements, and over time will allow you to experience fewer balance issues in situations where you would have had them before. The process will involve exercises that entail moving your head, neck and eyes in specific ways, and you should see a marked reduction in symptoms such as dizziness afterward.
Audiologists have a long track record in helping people with their balance issues. Regardless of how long you have been experiencing your own issues, they can make a huge difference in how you experience life going forward. If you have concerns over your own balance, it is well worth seeking advice from these experts going forward.