Feel as if the room is spinning around you? If so, your ears could be to blame.
While there are many reasons why someone may experience dizziness, from a drop in blood sugar to stress, we're going to take a look at how the ears can affect your balance. There are a variety of conditions and infections that not just affect the ears but also your balance. These are issues that our McKinney, TX, ENT doctor Dr. Andrew Senchak can treat.
Many causes of dizziness are the result of an inner ear problem. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded? It could be,
This chronic inner ear disorder, which typically affects young or middle-aged adults, can lead to bouts of vertigo (spinning or twirling sensation). Usually, this condition affects one ear. Along with vertigo, you may also experience ringing in the ear, changes in hearing or fullness/pressure in the ears.
This inner ear disorder occurs when one of the vestibular nerves within the inner ear becomes inflamed. Since the vestibular nerves are responsible for spatial awareness and balance, inflammation of the nerves can lead to dizziness, hearing loss and nausea. Sometimes labyrinthitis is brought on by an inner ear infection.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
This is usually the most common cause of dizziness and symptoms can be triggered by changes in head position such as standing up too quickly. Those with diabetes, previous head injuries or another inner ear disorder may be prone to BPPV. Symptoms of BPPV include,
- Blurry vision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of balance
You may be surprised to hear that dizziness is actually one of the leading causes of dizziness. If you have been diagnosed with migraines (severe headaches), particularly migraines with auras, then you may also experience bouts of dizziness and vertigo. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days. If you deal with severe, debilitating headaches then you could have migraines.
Since dizziness has many different causes it's important for our ENT doctor to examine you here at his McKinney, TX, practice to run the appropriate diagnostic tests to rule out certain conditions while also making a definitive diagnosis. The most common tests include an Electrocochleography (ECoG) or a videonystagmogram, which tests the inner eye and central motor functions, as well as eye movement.
If you suspect that your dizziness may be caused by an inner ear problem then call our ENT team at (469) 678-2211 to schedule an evaluation. Trust your ear, nose and throat health to the experts at Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute.
You may want to speak with an ENT specialist about the benefits of ear tube surgery if your child has experienced at least three ear infections within the last six months. Also, if your child is dealing with muffled hearing or any hearing loss due to fluid build-up in the middle ear, then ear tubes may be beneficial. It's important to treat this quickly, as hearing problems can delay speech. Another situation that may warrant this surgery is if your child has a collapsing eardrum (known as atelectasis).
Your doctor can tell you whether or not your child could benefit from ear tube surgery. The purpose of the procedure is to place ear tubes into the ears to drain the fluid from the middle ear. This will serve two purposes:
- To prevent future ear infections (or, at the very least, make future infections milder)
- To improve hearing in your child
Ear tubes typically stay in the eardrums for about 18 months, depending on the type of tube that was placed; however, if the ear tubes do not fall out on their own within a couple of years then an ENT surgeon may need to surgically remove them.
If your child is dealing with severe and recurring ear infections, you must see an ENT doctor right away to find out what’s going on and to make sure that they are getting the treatment they need. Ear tube surgery isn’t for every child, so talk with your qualified medical provider before deciding whether this is the right decision.
- A continuing cough
- Hoarseness of voice
- Unexplained and significant weight loss
- Trouble swallowing easily (dysphagia)
- Pain in the jaw or ear
- White or red patches or sores in the mouth which do not heal
- Nose bleeds
- Swollen tissues anywhere in the head/neck area
- Numbness in the mouth and especially the tongue
- Continual nasal congestion
- Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco
- Excessive alcohol consumption (more than two drinks daily if you a man and more than one a day for women)
- HPV exposure (Human Papilloma Virus) through oral sex
- A diet low in vegetables and fruit
- GERD, or acid reflux disease, in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus
- Trouble with breathing and speaking
How to beat it
- Over-the-counter antihistamines have been known to cause blurry vision, constipation, drowsiness, and possibly weight gain.
- Nasal sprays can lead to constipation, nose bleeds, and an upset stomach.
- Oral decongestants have been linked to high blood pressure.
- The oral preparation stage is where the food or liquid is made ready for swallowing. In terms of food, this means chewing your food.
- Next is the oral stage where the tongue moves food or liquid to the back of the mouth. This starts the swallowing process.
- Then comes the pharyngeal stage, where the contents of the mouth go through the pharynx, throat, and esophagus.
- Last is the esophageal stage, where it transfers from the esophagus into your stomach.
- A constant feeling of something, either water or liquid, being stuck in the throat.
- Problems controlling saliva production, i.e. drooling.
- The sensation of a lump in the throat.
- Discomfort in the chest or throat.
- Coughing or choking when trying to swallow, drink, or eat. This is due to substances being pulled into the lungs.
- Difficulties sustaining a normal weight caused by swallowing interfering with nutritional intake.
- Tonsillitis or throat infections
- Scarring or damage to the esophagus
- Medication side effects
- Tumors in the lungs, esophagus, or throat
- Nerve diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
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