Do you often feel dizzy and lightheaded? When standing or walking, do you feel unsteady on your feet? If you experience these recurring symptoms, you may need to get checked for a balance disorder.
What Inner Ear Conditions Can Cause Balance Problems?
Balance problems stem from several medical conditions, typically inner ear issues. Dizziness or vertigo are known symptoms of issues of the inner ear.
The following inner ear issues can cause balance problems:
- Ear infections
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Meniere’s disease
- Vestibular neuritis
- Acoustic neuroma
- Ramsay Hunt syndrome
- Hearing loss
Treatments For Balance Disorders
Your doctor will perform several tests to diagnose your condition and rule out other causes. Depending on the results, they will craft a personalized treatment plan. Treatments for balance disorders and inner ear issues may include:
Balance Retraining Exercises (Vestibular Rehabilitation)
Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in balance retraining. They will teach you specific exercises designed to improve balance and coordinate muscle response. If needed, your therapist may recommend that you use balance aids like canes to reduce the risk of falls.
BPPV is a condition that can affect balance. This condition causes the crystals in the otolith organs in the inner ear to become dislodged and move into the circular canals, causing head sensitivity. BPPV treatment may involve canalith repositioning. During this procedure, your doctor will try to remove crystals into a vestibule.
Diet And Lifestyle Changes
Dietary changes can ease symptoms of Meniere’s disease and migraines that can cause balance problems. Your doctor may encourage you to cut salt intake or avoid foods with caffeine and alcohol. For postural hypotension, you should drink plenty of fluids. They may also advise you to wear compression stockings to relieve symptoms.
Medications can reduce the severity of vertigo and tinnitus symptoms. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs deliver relief to individuals with severe tinnitus. For vertigo, medications that control dizziness and vomiting can reduce symptoms. Before taking medication, make sure to consult with your doctor first.
Noise Suppression Treatment
Noise suppression treatments are recommended for patients with tinnitus. Hearing aids can lessen ringing in the ears and make it easier for patients to hear sounds. Likewise, white-noise devices produce low-level white noise that helps control tinnitus symptoms.
Balloon Eustachian Tuboplasty
The eustachian tubes connect the middle ear to the back of the nose. It is normally closed but opens when you chew, swallow, or yawn. The tube also drains mucus and other secretions from the middle ear. When the eustachian tubes are not working correctly, you might experience ear fullness, hearing loss, tinnitus, and dizziness.
To alleviate these symptoms, your doctor may recommend balloon eustachian tuboplasty. Balloon eustachian tuboplasty is a minimally invasive procedure for the inner ear. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a catheter with a small balloon at the end through your nostrils and into the eustachian tube. Your doctor will then inflate the balloon to clear space, remove the pressure, and drain fluid from the ear.
Recurring ear infections, Meniere’s disease, and acoustic neuroma may warrant surgery. For patients with acoustic neuroma, stereotactic radiosurgery can be recommended since it does not require an incision.
For other ear infections, a procedure known as tympanostomy tube insertion can relieve pressure and aid fluid drainage. Other surgeries for inner ear issues involve reconstructing eardrum malformations and repairing air pressure injuries.
Treatments For Balance Disorders In Georgetown, TX
Recurrent vertigo, dizziness, and hearing issues may be symptoms of a balance disorder. Although some balance disorders may go away on their own, it’s best to consult with a doctor.
If you’re looking for an ENT specialist in Georgetown, TX, look no further than Georgetown ENT. Our team takes pride in providing personalized care for people of all ages. Dr. Scott Franklin is double board-certified and will treat you with the utmost dedication. Abeda Mueed, MA, is a clinical audiologist with a specialty in balance disorders.
If you want to know more about balance disorders and associated inner ear issues, you may visit us at Georgetown ENT in Georgetown, Texas. You may call us at (512) 869-0604 or conveniently request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you.