Hearing and Balance

Does Hearing Loss Affect Balance?

Dizziness, floating, unsteadiness, blurred vision, disorientation, confusion, faintness and vertigo are all symptoms that may indicate a balance disorder.

A structure in the inner ear called the labyrinth (names for its maze-like characteristics) is responsible for the body’s sense of balance. The labyrinth consists of complex tissue and bone. The vestibular system works in tandem with your visual system to let the body know its position relative to the earth and gravity, that way you can coordinate your movements properly.

When you experience a balance disorder you will often have difficulty maintain your balance and you may experience a sensation which feels as though the room is spinning, you might stagger when you walk, or even be bedbound for a period of time. Some people also experience nausea and vomiting and fear and anxiety. The symptoms may appear and disappear over short periods of time or last for much longer periods depending upon the cause of the balance disorder.

After the initial symptoms if the balance part of your ear does not work correctly, you rely more on the information from your eyes and the joints and muscles in your body and you may feel dizzy. You may also find that certain movements make you feel dizzier, for example, turning your head quickly, bending down, or walking on uneven surfaces. Because of your dizziness, you might have stopped moving in ways that make your dizziness worse. But by stopping some movement your recovery will actually take longer. You might also experience neck stiffness, headaches, muscle stiffness or tiredness because you have stopped moving naturally.

Ear infections, poor blood circulation in the inner, and head injuries can all lead to balance disorders. Tumors, medications, arthritis, eye muscle imbalance, and low blood pressure are also some non-hearing related problems that can cause balance disorders.

Hearing loss doesn’t cause balance disorders on its own, however problems with the inner ear that’s responsible for hearing may also disrupt your vestibular system. That means hearing loss may be a sign of an underlying condition which is also impairing your balance.

Contact us if you are having trouble with your hearing or balance.
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