Hearing Loss and Balance

Do you get dizzy and/or fall down a lot? Have you ever thought it might be related to your hearing? Though it is pretty common to experience a brief spell of dizziness, it is estimated that only about 40% of people seek medical help because of significant dizziness episodes. This balance loss could cause a spinning or floating sensation related to your inner ear. Hometown Hearing Centre in Ontario explains why your fall a lot might be related to your ears.

Ear pain causing balance problems and hearing loss.

The Cause of Balance Disorders

Vertigo gives you a spinning, rotational sensation and is the imagination of the movement of surrounding objects or self. Disequilibrium is the imbalance, instability, or equilibrium loss usually associated with spatial disorientation. The disequilibrium feeling with a spinning sensation is associated with the inner ear though vertigo is often a result of inner ear disorders.

Losing balance and tripping on a set of stairs.

Ear Effect on Balance

Your inner ear comprises two regions: the vestibular system responsible for balance and the cochlea responsible for hearing. The vestibular system is composed of a looped tube network, three in every ear, referred to as the semicircular canals. The central area they loop off is the vestibule. Your vestibular system uses sensory cells, activated by moving your head, to detect movement and is sensitive to small head movements. The system sends the vestibular nerve signals, then joined to the cochlear nerve and carried to the brain.

A child adjusting their small hearing aids.

Relation Between Hearing and Balance

Various factors may lead to hearing loss. Generally, hearing loss is taken to be part and parcel of the aging process and may develop independently or together with other body systems. It is also possible to have noise-induced hearing loss. On the other hand, balance disorders occur as a result of inner ear issues. Therefore, hearing loss and balance can be related or occur separately, depending on the hidden cause.

Doctor fitting a patient with new hearing aids.

Diagnosis of Balance Disorders

Evaluation of balance disorders uses videonystagmography (VNG), audiology testing, and usually magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, a unique eye movement type called nystagmus is examined using VNG. Nystagmus occurs as the brain tries to establish the body position on receiving conflicting information from the ears. It allows the examiner to identify the position at which you feel dizzy though it is not always position-related, and not all dizziness causes nystagmus.

Some disorders of the ear might lead to balance issues and hearing loss and the subsequent use of hearing aids. At Hometown Hearing Centre in Ontario, we have extensive clinical practices specializing in ear surgery and rectifying ear issues and inner ear disorders. So book your appointment now and avoid falling.

Get Ahead of the Fall