Balance is a complex function with input from the visual system, muscle and joint sensory nerves (known as proprioception), and – most importantly – the inner ear (known as the vestibular system). Otologists and Neurotologists focus on balance disturbances, and their evaluation and treatment. Symptoms range from unsteadiness to a sense of motion called vertigo (commonly a spinning sensation). Nausea, vomiting, disorientation, lack of concentration, irritability, personality changes, tinnitus and anxiety may be associated with the disorder.
In addition to a focused History and Physical –Neurotologic Evaluation, medical evaluation includes tests aimed at the functions of the inner ear. In office testing include and Audiogram, Auditory Brainstem Response, Electrocochleography, Video Infra-red Electronystagmography, Posturography, Oto-acoustic Emissions, and various blood tests. Out of office scans such as a CT scan and/or MRI are frequently utilized.
Treatment may include oral medication, dietary modification, life-style modification, allergy evaluation and therapy, and vestibular rehabilitation therapy among others. Balance Disorder Surgery is necessary in some specific cases and can offer permanent control of symptoms and return to activity.
If you or a loved one is struggling with a balance disorder, please contact us today to schedule a consultation so that we can help you begin on your path to restoring balance.