Diagnosing The Cause Of Dizziness
Dizziness may be caused by any disturbance in the inner ear, the balance nerve or its central connections. This can be due to a disturbance in circulation, fluid pressure or metabolism, infections, neuritis, drugs, injury, or growths.
At times an extensive evaluation is required to determine the cause of dizziness. The tests necessary are determined at the time of examination and may include detailed hearing and balance tests, x-rays, and blood tests. A general physical examination and neurological tests may be advised.
The object of this evaluation is to be certain that there is no serious or life-threatening disease, and to pinpoint the location of the problem. This lays the groundwork for effective medical or surgical treatment.
Treatment For Mnires Disease
Theres no cure for Ménières disease, but medicine can help control vertigo, nausea and vomiting.
The 2 medicines usually recommended by GPs are:
- prochlorperazine, which helps relieve severe nausea and vomiting
- antihistamines, which help relieve mild nausea, vomiting and vertigo
The aim is to get the medicine into your body as soon as possible, at the first sign of symptoms.
You may also need treatment for:
- loss of balance
Distress is common in people with Ménières disease, as its a difficult and unpredictable condition.
A GP can offer advice and support if youre finding it difficult to cope with the effect Ménières disease is having on your life.
You may be offered:
- relaxation therapy including breathing techniques and yoga
There are also support groups and organisations, such as the Ménières Society, that can provide help and advice.
Your Ears Do More Than Hear
Aside from transmitting sound signals to your brain, your ears are also responsible for maintaining balance due to the vestibular and cochlear nerves in your ears.
The vestibular nerve transmits sensory information to your brain to register your body position and adjust your balance. Cochlear nerves carry auditory information from your inner ear to your brain. These nerves really on hair cells in the ear to function, and if one system is off-kilter, the other is also affected.
Menieres disease is often classified as a cause for tinnitus and is a result of increased pressure in the inner ear. Symptoms of Menieres include:
- Hearing loss
- Pressure or fullness in the ears
The endolymph fluid in your ears is responsible for stimulating hair cells that send signals to your brain. Menieres causes an increase in the fluid that stimulates hair cells even when there are no real stimuli and causes balance and hearing issues.
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Diagnosis And Treatment For Menieres Disease
Abnormal results of a caloric stimulation test of eye reflexes can indicate a sign of Menieres disease. An electrocochleography, MRI scan or electronystagmography may also be recommended to decipher Menieres disease from other forms of vertigo. The vertigo associated with Menieres disease can usually be controlled with medications and dietary changes. If those measures do not work, gentamicin injections might give lasting relief. Surgery is an option when other measures fail.
Medications that are effective for Menieres disease include:
- Diuretics are the most commonly prescribed maintenance medications for Menieres disease. Diuretics work by restricting the overproduction of fluid in the inner ear. Diuretics are long-term medications. They help reduce the number of vertigo attacks, and in some cases, they help stabilize hearing. Commonly used diuretics are Diamox and Dyazide .
- Meclizine is the most commonly prescribed medication for the control of vertigo. Dramamine, available over-the-counter, is milder but might also be effective.
- Valium in small doses may be helpful when other medications fail to control the vertigo.
Injection Therapy for Menieres Disease
The medication is administered in the office. The injections are performed at monthly intervals until either dizziness, imbalance, or hearing loss occur. Most patients receive between one and three treatments, although the number may vary depending on the response.
How Your Body ‘compensates’
When one part of your vestibular system is afflicted, the other parts can usually compensate for the deficit. Once the system is under too much stress, though, that compensation may fall short. For example, if you must take an ototoxic drug that destroys the balance organs of the inner ear, you can still stay quite balanced as long as your eyes are open. However, when you are asked to close your eyes, you may find it quite difficult to stay standing upright.
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You Could Have An Inner Ear Disorder
On its own, hearing a low-pitched roaring or whooshing sound in one ear can be distressing. Add to that random episodes of dizziness and vertigo and a feeling of fullness in your ear , and you have every right to be concerned about whats going on. In this case, you could have Ménières disease, a disorder characterized by hearing loss, tinnitus, and dizzy spells, says Palmer.
Ménières disease is believed to be caused by a fluid imbalance in your inner ear. While it is a chronic condition, dietary changes , medications, hearing aids, and other therapies can help you manage your symptoms.
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Symptoms And Onset Of Viral Neuritis Or Labyrinthitis
Symptoms of viral neuritis can be mild or severe, ranging from subtle dizziness to a violent spinning sensation . They can also include nausea, vomiting, unsteadiness and imbalance, difficulty with vision, and impaired concentration.
Sometimes the symptoms can be so severe that they affect the ability to stand up or walk. Viral labyrinthitis may produce the same symptoms, along with tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
Onset of symptoms is usually very sudden, with severe dizziness developing abruptly during routine daily activities. In other cases, the symptoms are present upon awakening in the morning. The sudden onset of such symptoms can be very frightening many people go to the emergency room or visit their physician on the same day.
After a period of gradual recovery that may last several weeks, some people are completely free of symptoms. Others have chronic dizziness if the virus has damaged the vestibular nerve.
Many people with chronic neuritis or labyrinthitis have difficulty describing their symptoms, and often become frustrated because although they may look healthy, they dont feel well. Without necessarily understanding the reason, they may observe that everyday activities are fatiguing or uncomfortable, such as walking around in a store, using a computer, being in a crowd, standing in the shower with their eyes closed, or turning their head to converse with another person at the dinner table.
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What You Can Do
Although both conditions involve nervous system impairments, there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms.
Change your diet: Foods high in sodium have been linked to tinnitus and vertigo as they constrict blood vessels, affecting blood flow to your ears. Caffeine and alcohol are also common triggers, so reduce or eliminate them from your diet.
Lifestyle: Physical activity will help you strengthen your balance and maintain healthy blood flow that can reduce tinnitus symptoms. Avoid loud environments that can trigger tinnitus or vertigo episodes.
Meds: Anti-vertigo and vasodilation medications can help support blood flow to blood vessels that can alleviate tinnitus and vertigo symptoms. Some medications can exacerbate both conditions, so consult your physician to verify that your medicine is not a contributing factor.
Visit an audiologist: Audiologists can prescribe aural rehab or hearing aids that can treat tinnitus symptoms. Sound therapies in hearing aids can also block the ringing caused by tinnitus.
Hearing Associates can work with you to treat your vertigo and tinnitus symptoms. Call us at 888.760.2032 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
Inflammation Of The Inner Ear
Dizziness may be one symptom of an inner ear infection. Signs and symptoms of inflammation of your inner ear include the sudden onset of intense, constant vertigo that may persist for several days, along with nausea, vomiting and trouble with balance. These symptoms may be so severe that you have to stay in bed.
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Can Allergies Cause Ear Infections
Allergies can also lead to the development of ear infections. People who have seasonal or year long allergies are more likely to experience ear infections than those without.
Environmental allergies can irritate the eustachian tube, which runs from the middle ear to the throat. The eustachian tube helps balance pressure between the outer and inner ear.
An allergy can cause swelling around the eustachian tube, which can prevent fluid from draining away from the middle ear.
If this fluid collects behind the ear drum, it increases the risk of bacteria and viruses growing in the fluid. These bacteria and viruses can cause an ear infection in the middle ear.
Symptoms of a middle ear infection can appear suddenly and may include:
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Symptoms Of Menieres Disease
The symptoms of Menieres disease include:
- loss of clear hearing or loss of ability to distinguish speech or location of sound
- loss of balance the surroundings seem to spin. Some people feel a degree of motion sickness, while others may even vomit or experience diarrhoea
- noises in the ear described as hissing, roaring or ringing, or a combination of sounds. The tinnitus may be relentless, or fade in and out. The volume of the tinnitus is variable too, and often increases before a Menieres attack
- hearing loss usually in the low frequencies and includes a fuzzy, unclear quality to sounds
- ear fullness a sensation that the ear is under pressure and close to bursting
- sensitivity to noise some noises can hurt the ears, while other noises may be quiet, but of a particular pitch that causes pain.
Often, one or two symptoms will be more noticeable than others.
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Treatment Of Meniere’s Disease
Treatment of cochlear and vestibular hydrops is the same as for classic Meniere’s disease. The treatment of Meniere’s disease may be medical or surgical, depending upon the patient’s stage of the disease, life circumstances, and the condition of the ears. The purpose of the treatment is to prevent the hearing loss, and stop the vertigo .
It is aimed at improving the inner ear circulation and controlling the fluid pressure changes of the inner ear chambers. At times it is necessary to cut the balance nerve or remove the inner ear structures.
Medical treatment of Meniere’s disease varies with the individual patient according to suspected cause and magnitude and frequency of symptoms. It is effective in decreasing the frequency and severity of attacks in 80% of patients. Treatment may consist of medication to decrease the inner ear fluid pressure or prevent inner ear allergic reactions. Various drugs are used as anti-dizziness medication. Vasoconstricting substances have an opposite effect and, therefore, should be avoided. Such substances are caffeine and nicotine .
Diuretics may be prescribed to decrease the inner ear fluid pressure.
Meniere’s disease may be caused or aggravated by metabolic or allergic disorders. Special diets or drug therapy are indicated at times to control these problems.
Hearing Loss With Menieres Disease
Menieres disease can cause hearing loss, including mid- and low-frequency hearing loss, meaning low-pitched sounds may be harder to hear . A person also might be more sensitive to higher-pitched sounds and find them uncomfortable. However, Menieres disease is unpredictable and the hearing loss may not affect low frequencies, but instead high frequencies. Often the hearing loss comes and goes, making it harder to diagnose.
Some people will gradually develop more serious levels of hearing loss, which may be only in one ear or both ears. The hearing loss can range from mild to profound.
Hearing aids can generally help, since the type of hearing loss is sensorineural in origin. When hearing loss is severe, CROS hearing aids or cochlear implants may be recommended.
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Treatment For Inner Ear Infection
Infection in the ear is likely to occur in any of the three parts of the ear outer, middle and inner parts of the ear. Also, infection in the ear is a serious matter.
Therefore, it is important to treat the infection in order to prevent complications, which includes damaging or rupturing the eardrum and much more.
Diagnosis is a prior process of treatment. An audiologist will observe your ears with an otoscope. Then it will be followed by the hearing test. Your treatment will depend on the underlying causes of infections.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with an inner ear infection are advised to go for proper treatment.
Availing treatment for infection of the inner ear is mandatory for both children and adults. This is greatly achieved by seeking a professional doctor at a healthcare institution in your area.
In addition to using antibiotics, other medications may also be given to persons having an infection in the inner ear in order to reduce swelling and inflammation.
These are useful to treat an inner ear infection, to reduce swelling and inflammation, to treat nausea and vomiting, and to help eliminate dizziness and vertigo.
Following are some methods you can use to treat your inner ear infection:
Symptoms Of Dizziness And Vertigo
Descriptions of dizziness may include:
- a sensation of movement , either of yourself or the external environment
- unsteadiness, including finding it difficult to walk in a straight line
Other symptoms that may accompany dizziness include:
- staggering gait and loss of coordination
- unusual eye movements, such as flitting of the eyes
- finding it difficult to see clearly when moving, for example, when reading a sign while walking or driving.
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If Youre Feeling A Little Unsteady On Your Feet Its Not Just In Your Head It Might Actually Be In Your Ears
Weve all experienced dizziness after a boat trip, an amusement park ride or spinning in a circle as a kid. But if you feel like youve just gotten off a roller coaster even if youve hardly moved, you could have a balance problem related to your inner ear. Heres how it happens.
Your inner ear has three canals that sense different types of movement: up and down, side to side, turning in any direction and tilting. These canals are filled with fluid within that fluid are floating membranes with tiny cells that send signals to your brain. That special sensory information, combined with what you see and feel, helps you navigate the physical world. The brain ultimately interprets all of this incoming sensory information and translates it into coordination, balance and movement. If those incoming signals are thrown off, you can experience dizziness, nausea or a feeling that the world is spinning. You may even feel like youre about to fall down. Several different conditions can cause your inner earbalance system to become off-kilter, but thankfully they can be managed with help from a doctor.
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Teens Loud Music And Possible Future Hearing Problems
One study found that out of 170 teenagers, over half had experienced tinnitus in the previous year. Research has proposed that potentially risky leisure habits, such as listening to loud music on personal devices, could trigger tinnitus.
However, the investigators found that those who were prone to tinnitus tended to keep their music volume down, suggsting they may already have a hidden susceptibility to hearing loss in the future.
They propose monitoring for tinnitus and a low tolerance for loud noise from an early age, as these could be early signs of future hearing loss.
Tinnitus is a common problem in the general population, especially among those with certain risk factors.
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Who Gets Mnires Disease
Anyone can get Ménières disease, but it is more common in adults between 40 and 60 years of age. Approximately 615,000 individuals in the United States are currently diagnosed with Ménières disease, and about 45,500 cases are newly diagnosed each year, according to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders .
People with a family history of Ménières disease are at a higher risk of developing this condition, however we do not know if it is truly an inherited condition.
Hearing Loss And Dizziness: What Does It Mean
There are many health conditions that can affect the inner ear and cause both dizziness and hearing loss, including severe allergies, bacterial or viral infections of the inner ear, medication side effects and some circulatory conditions. If you experience sudden dizziness and hearing loss, see a doctor right away.
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Tinnitus And Balance Disorder Are Inter
The inner ear is an intricate part of the human body that is crucial in maintaining the equilibrium of the body by being motion sensitive. The nerve endings in the vestibular region transfer the nerve impulses to the brain helping it to assess the bodys position and balance the body accordingly.
The vestibular and cochlear nerves run through the inner ear to the brain to transmit the sound and motion signals. Menieres disease, labyrinthitis, middle ear infection or any other disorientation affecting this system, lead to vertigo and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is often an intruding sound in the ear. A prolonged period of tinnitus leads to loss of focus, anxiety, annoyance, and depression.
- Vertigo or dizziness is a mistaken sense of body movement, spinning of the world around or the feeling of revolving movement of self.
In both the cases, the reason is impaired nervous system that is inefficiently sending out the nerve impulses that confuses the brain and disrupts the equilibrium of the body and the hearing ability.