Dizziness & Balance Assessment
“Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in people 65 and older in the United States,” according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
Our sense of balance is determined by our visual system, the inner ear, and our sense of movement via muscles (kinesthetic sense). When these systems don’t work together and function properly, we become dizzy.
Dizziness is a Symptom
Any disturbance in the inner ear, with or without hearing loss or ringing in the ears (tinnitus), may cause a feeling of dizziness. Dizziness can be caused by disease such as Meniere’s Disease, by small calcium deposits in the inner ear, drugs which are toxic to the vestibular (balance) system, head trauma, and other conditions not necessarily related to the vestibular system.
Balance system assessment is conducted to detect pathology with the vestibular or balance system; to determine site of lesion; to monitor changes in balance function; or, to determine the contribution of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems to functional balance.
Vestibular or balance system assessment is indicated when a person has nystagmus (rapid involuntary eye movement), complaints of vertigo (dizziness) balance dysfunction, gait abnormalities, or when pathology/disease of the vestibular system is suspected.
Is Medication Necessary?
Medications for dizziness usually just cover up the symptoms and make you drowsy.
We find the cause of your dizziness and make recommendations that could possibly eliminate your dizziness without the use of medication! We have the technology that measures your sway and stability in less than five minutes while you stand quietly with your hands at your sides.
Since 85% of all balance disorders are the result of problems involving the inner ear, an ENG will help determine if your problem involves your inner ear. For the 15 minute ENG test, you simply wear a set of comfortable goggles which block all outside light while a miniature infrared video camera mounted in the goggles accurately records eye movements, even though your eyes are in total darkness.
Immediate Test Results
Test results are obtained while you are seated quietly and moving your head both side to side and up and down. You will be lying on a table with your head and body in different positions. The images are fed to a computer which analyzes your eye movements for signs of nystagmus, a rapid beating of the eyes which is evidence of the presence of a balance disorder.
Treatment of BPPV
Because dizziness and hearing are so closely related, the testing also includes an audiological examination designed to help pinpoint the cause of your problem. This audiological exam, a necessary part of any complete vestibular workup, is covered by Medicare and almost all other insurers.
Our services also include a new method of treating dizziness and balance disorders without drugs or surgery. The treatment, known as vestibular rehabilitation therapy, may include eye exercises, balance retraining and brief therapy sessions focused on repositioning tiny particles within your inner ears.
The success rate for treatment of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a common form of balance disorder, is nearly 100%. Once therapy is completed, dizziness rarely returns.
If you are experiencing DIZZINESS, please complete the Dizziness Patient Questions on this form and bring with you to your appointment.
Hearing healthcare is important at any age. Schedule your appointment with Saline Audiology today.