Could your dizziness and balance problems be caused by a vestibular disorder? Your McKinney, TX, otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Senchak of Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute, can determine the cause of your symptoms and offer helpful treatments.
Vestibular disorder symptoms
Dizziness or nausea isn't uncommon, particularly if you've been feeling a little under the weather. If the symptoms happen often, they could be related to a vestibular disorder. The vestibular system is located in your inner ear and is essential for good balance. If the system isn't working properly, you may experience:
- A spinning sensation called vertigo
- Trouble keeping your balance
- Coordination problems
- Ear pain or fullness in the ears
- Concentration or memory problems
- Ringing in the ears
- Poor depth perception
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Trouble tracking objects with your eyes
- Focusing problems
- Motion sickness
A vestibular disorder could be caused by:
- An ear infection
- Head or neck injury
- Medication side effects
- Allergies, colds, and viral infections
- Growth in the ear or on a nerve
- Meniere's disease
- Poor circulation in the ear
How are vestibular disorders treated?
During your visit to the McKinney otolaryngology office, your doctor will review your medications and medical history to determine if an underlying condition could be the cause of your problem. He may also recommend a few tests that will help him make a diagnosis.
If you are diagnosed with a vestibular disorder, your treatment options may include:
- Medication: Antibiotics to treat ear infections and medications for other underlying conditions may ease your symptoms.
- Counseling: Counseling can be helpful if you're struggling to deal with the effects of the vestibular disorder on your life.
- Canalith Repositioning Therapy: Your doctor manipulates your head to reposition crystals inside your ear during this therapy. Vestibular disorder symptoms can occur if the crystals move out of their normal positions.
- Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: You'll learn exercises that will reduce dizziness, improve balance and enhance the functioning of your vestibular system. Individualized therapy addresses your particular symptoms and challenges.
Do you have any of the symptoms of a vestibular disorder? Call your otolaryngologist in McKinney, TX, Dr. Andrew Senchak of Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute at (469) 678-2211 to schedule your appointment.
Here are some easy things you can do to prevent damage to your hearing.
A shocking 432 million adults and 34 million children around the world are affected by hearing loss. There are many causes for hearing loss including chronic ear infections, age, and exposure to loud noises. Of course, there are steps you can take now to protect yourself and your family from hearing loss. From the office of our McKinney, TX, ENT doctor Dr. Andrew Senchak, here are some strategies for preserving your hearing,
Know safe decibel levels
A safe exposure level of sound is no more than 85 decibels for eight hours a day. 85 decibels equates to the sounds of bustling city traffic. Unfortunately, headphones and MP3 players are often at or above 100 decibels. Even a standard blow-dryer is about 90 decibels.
It’s important to understand that even simple everyday appliances could cause hearing damage if you use them regularly. Knowing this can help to limit your exposure and avoid loud noises.
Protect your ears while listening to music
Listening to MP3 players is one of the biggest risk factors for hearing loss these days, particularly in teens. To prevent hearing damage caused by these electronic devices you must consider using noise-canceling headphones when listening to music, do not go above 60 percent of the maximum volume, and do not use headphones for more than 60 minutes at a time. Breaks are key. If your child is blasting their iPod it’s time to educate them on safer listening volumes.
Get your hearing evaluated
Even if you think your hearing is perfect, it’s a good idea to have your family visit our McKinney, TX, ENT doctor and audiologist to make sure that everything is okay. In fact, gradual hearing loss can be more challenging for people to spot. Children and teens should get regular hearing screenings.
Of course, if you are concerned about your hearing or the hearing of a loved one you must schedule an evaluation as soon as possible. The sooner hearing loss is diagnosed the sooner we can start treating the problem.
If you or someone you love is developing hearing problems as a result of recurring ear infections, our McKinney, TX, ENT team is here to help. Call Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute at (469) 678-2211 to schedule an evaluation.
At Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute in McKinney, TX, Dr. Andrew Senchak provides diagnosis and treatment of vertigo, ear pain, hearing loss and tinnitus. If you are experiencing symptoms of ENT problems, learn more about what we do to help patients feel good and function at their best.
A complex apparatus
That's your ear. It not only transmits sound to your brain, but it also keeps you balanced. Both these functions depend on tiny sensory hair cells present in the inner ear, but like any finely tuned bodily organ, these hair cells may be damaged. These are the common harmful factors:
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise or music
- Infection (swimmer's ear or otitis media, as examples)
- Age (over 60)
- Head injury, such as a skull fracture
When to see an ENT doctor
We ask our patients in the McKinney, TX, area to arrange an appointment with our ENT doctor when they notice the following symptoms:
- Changes in hearing acuity which lasts for more than two weeks
- Tinnitus, a roaring, ringing sound in one or both ears, which may be an early sign of hearing loss
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Ear pain, fever and other signs of possible infection
- Ear drainage or blood from one or both sides of the head
- Injury to the ear--either external or internal as with a blow to the head or an object puncturing the eardrum
- Repeated episodes of motion sickness
- Chronic headaches
- Fullness in the ears
- Hearing sensitivity, both to volume and pitch
Your evaluation at Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute
When you come to our McKinney, TX, office, our ENT doctor will look at both your ears, ask you to describe your symptoms and inspect the inside of your ear canal with a lighted otoscope. This exam generally is painless, although with some conditions, such as swimmer's ear, there may be some mild soreness.
Depending on his findings, Dr. Senchak may have our on-site audiologist, Dr. Amy Arnett, perform a hearing test. With his findings and the results of the audiological exam, he will formulate a treatment plan to address your symptoms.
Also, for problems with balance and dizziness, Dr. Senchak runs specialized tests, such as Rotational Chair Testing, Auditory Brainstem Response and others to pinpoint the reasons behind these issues.
We're here to help
At Texas Ear and Vestibular Institute in McKinney, TX, Dr. Andrew Senchak examines and treats patients of all ages who have disorders and conditions related to their ears. For your consultation with this skilled ENT doctor, phone us at (469) 678-2211.
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.
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