A healthy person usually takes his or her sense of balance for granted. Most people don’t find it difficult to transition from walking on the sidewalk to walking on the grass, or to get out of bed in the middle of the night without stumbling or feeling unsteady.
Dizziness is a sensation of light-headedness, faintness, or unsteadiness, and vertigo has a rotational, spinning component, resulting in the perception of movement either of the self or of surrounding objects. Disequilibrium simply means unsteadiness, imbalance, or loss of equilibrium that is often accompanied by spatial disorientation.
Almost everyone experiences a few seconds of spatial disorientation at some point — for example, when watching a 3-D movie. However, episodes of dizziness or vertigo, whether lasting for only a few seconds or for days on end, are a primary sign of vestibular dysfunction/balance disorder, especially when linked to changes in head position. Because of the many possible causes of dizziness, obtaining a correct diagnosis can often be difficult, but it is possible and necessary. Mainstream medicine often minimizes the importance of a correct diagnosis, but there are excellent professionals in our area who specialize in vestibular diagnosis and treatment. Since your balance system and hearing system are both parts of your inner ear, the diagnosis begins with a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
People with vestibular disorders commonly experience cognitive disturbances affecting memory, attention, and concentration and can also experience emotional challenges due to their inability to remain independent or to care for a loved one. Additionally, the increased risk of falling can be devastating and life threatening; as we all know, a broken hip can drastically impact the quality and length of our life! Do not ignore these symptoms. Although head injury and advancing age are common causes of dizziness, almost half of all cases have no identifiable underlying cause. The most commonly diagnosed balance disorder is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). BPPV, if diagnosed accurately, can often be treated and cured by a specialized professional and is most often covered by insurance. Call your local AudigyCertified™ provider, and they will make sure you are given the attention you deserve and are connected with the professionals you need.