FAQs

What research is being done on hearing aids?
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Researchers are looking at ways to apply new signal processing strategies to the design of hearing aids. Signal processing is the method used to modify normal sound waves into amplified sound that is the best possible match to the remaining hearing for a hearing aid user. NIDCD-funded researchers also are studying how hearing aids can enhance speech signals to improve understanding. In addition, researchers are… Read More

Categories: Hearing Aids
What is a balance disorder?
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A balance disorder is a disturbance that causes an individual to feel unsteady, giddy, woozy, or have a sensation of movement, spinning, or floating. An organ in our inner ear, the labyrinth, is an important part of our vestibular (balance) system. The labyrinth interacts with other systems in the body, such as the visual (eyes) and skeletal (bones and joints) systems, to maintain the body’s… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
How does the balance system work?
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Movement of fluid in the semicircular canals signals the brain about the direction and speed of rotation of the head–for example, whether we are nodding our head up and down or looking from right to left. Each semicircular canal has a bulbed end, or enlarged portion, that contains hair cells. Rotation of the head causes a flow of fluid, which in turn causes displacement of… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
What are some types of balance disorders?
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Some of the more common balance disorders are: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)–a brief, intense sensation of vertigo that occurs because of a specific positional change of the head. An individual may experience BPPV when rolling over to the left or right upon getting out of bed in the morning, or when looking up for an object on a high shelf. The cause of BPPV… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
What causes a balance disorder?
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Infections (viral or bacterial), head injury, disorders of blood circulation affecting the inner ear or brain, certain medications, and aging may change our balance system and result in a balance problem. Individuals who have illnesses, brain disorders, or injuries of the visual or skeletal systems, such as eye muscle imbalance and arthritis, may also experience balance difficulties. A conflict of signals to the brain about… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
What are the symptoms of a balance disorder?
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When balance is impaired, an individual has difficulty maintaining orientation. For example, an individual may experience the “room spinning” and may not be able to walk without staggering, or may not even be able to arise. Some of the symptoms a person with a balance disorder may experience are: A sensation of dizziness or vertigo (spinning). Falling or a feeling of falling. Lightheadedness or feeling… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
How can I help my doctor make a diagnosis of a balance disorder?
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You can take the following steps that may be helpful to your physician in determining a diagnosis and treatment plan. Bring a written list of symptoms to your doctor. Bring a list of medications currently being used for balance disorders to your doctor. Be specific when you describe the nature of your symptoms to your doctor. For example, describe how, when, and where you experience… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
How are balance disorders treated?
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There are various options for treating balance disorders. One option includes treatment for a disease or disorder that may be contributing to the balance problem, such as ear infection, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. Individual treatment will vary and will be based upon symptoms, medical history, general health, examination by a physician, and the results of medical tests. Another treatment option includes balance retraining exercises (vestibular… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
How are balance disorders diagnosed?
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Diagnosis of a balance disorder is complicated because there are many kinds of balance disorders and because other medical conditions–including ear infections, blood pressure changes, and some vision problems–and some medications may contribute to a balance disorder. A person experiencing dizziness should see a physician for an evaluation. The primary physician may request the opinion of an otolaryngologist to help evaluate a balance problem. An… Read More

Categories: Tinnitus
Where can I get more information about balance disorders?
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Find out from one of our hearing professionals by calling 888-280-7114.

Categories: Tinnitus