You’re walking down the street happily, but suddenly, your vision shifts. The horizon seems to tip a little, and you start to feel more like you’re on a carousel than a sidewalk. Simply putting one step in front of the other suddenly seems like mission impossible.
Dizziness and imbalance are two things that can instantly and significantly affect every single day of your life. It can sometimes be so bad that you feel you can’t leave your home, which can leave you feeling scared and isolated.
The key to solving any problem is understanding the cause. So what is it that causes these horrible symptoms? In the vast majority of cases, you’ll find the root of the problem lies in your ear. All of the following ear conditions can cause dizziness and imbalance:
Arteriosclerosis – this (near-impossible to pronounce) word is used when the blood vessels leading to your brain are hardened or narrowed, causing a blockage and reducing healthy blood blow.
Labyrinthitis – less fun than it sounds, this is the part of your ear that controls balance and is called the labyrinth. This condition is caused by a virus within the labyrinth, which can actually sometimes stem from a common cold.
Meniere’s disease – this is a condition that causes bursts of dizziness, buzzing, ringing and occasionally, hearing loss.
Acoustic neuroma – in much rarer, more extreme cases, this is a tumor that is found within the ear, causing a sensation of fullness and pressure.
Vascular vertigo – if you’re overweight, smoke, don’t get enough exercise or suffer from migraines, there is a chance you could get vascular vertigo, which is when there are issues getting a healthy blood supply to your ear.
Post-traumatic vertigo – is exactly what it sounds like; an accident, usually within a car, can cause whiplash, head injuries or concussion affecting the inner ear.
If you ever find yourself involuntarily riding a carousel when walking down the street, it might be a wise idea to get a hearing screening. Here at North Houston Hearing we can give you a comprehensive check and provide you with simple, straightforward advice on the next steps towards a happier, more balanced life.
Dr. Lacey Brooks received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry in 2003, and earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009. She completed her clinical internships and residency at various facilities within Houston Medical Center. Dr. Brooks is a professional member of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA), and is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also the vice president of the Louisiana State University Houston Chapter Alumni Association.