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What Do Our Ears Have to Do with Our Balance and Equilibrium?

Our ears are not only limited to the function of hearing. They also help us maintain our equilibrium and proper balance. You may notice this when you have ear problems and you seem to have lost balance and coordination due to lightheadedness and dizziness. Other sensations may also include vertigo and the feeling as if one is floating or swimming. This condition is referred to as the vestibular system disorder.

Loss of balance due to dizziness, vertigo or lightheadedness may be a result of a dysfunction of the nerves that regulate the balance mechanism inside our inner ear. In certain instances, vertigo can cause vomiting and nausea.

An inflammation in the inner ear can cause vertigo for a couple of days. This can be quite incapacitating and may require bed rest since it is accompanied by nausea and imbalance. If it is accompanied by loss of hearing, this condition is called labyrinthitis.

Dizziness may also be attributed to a condition known as acoustic neuroma. One of its symptoms is loss of hearing accompanied by bouts of dizziness and imbalance. Ménière’s disease is also a condition associated with the buildup of excessive fluids in the inner ear. When this happens, one could experience vertigo, which could last for hours depending on the severity.

Vestibular system disorders share similar symptoms with other health problems. Ear infections, loss of balance and coordination, nausea and vertigo are just a few of these shared symptoms. Accordingly, one needs to go to an otolaryngologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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I´m 61 years old and lost my hearing gradually over many years. Because my hearing loss developed so slowly, I never realized it was happening. But my friends and family sure did. Because of them, I decided to get my hearing tested. Dr. Andrews keeps working with you until you are satisfied. That´s what I like. I haven´t heard this well in years. ~ R. McGreggor

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