The sensation of balance is complicated but most of it has to do with your inner ear and the structures therein. Balance problems can usually be fixed by addressing the source of the problem; the inner ear. Your ears work in conjunction with many other body parts to help you stay balanced and to help you perceive the outside world. There are times when a balance disturbance is what you are looking for, such as riding a rollercoaster. If this disturbance happens during normal activities it would be helpful for you to figure out the root cause and how best to treat it. Finding the cause is possible with several painless, non-invasive tests that Dr. Day can perform for you at her Central Phoenix practice.
Feeling dizzy is the most common complaint with a balance impairment but did you know there are actually several symptoms that are all related to dizziness? It’s true. Dizziness can be described as light-headedness or disorientation. You might also feel like the room is spinning, that’s called vertigo. The most common cause for all of these is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). If you’ve even gotten dizzy rolling from your left to your right side or felt sick when searching for something on a high shelf then you’ve probably experienced BPPV. This is caused by calcium.
As a mineral necessary for proper bone growth, calcium is an important part of any diet. The calcium that causes your dizziness is a little different. We’re talking about the calcium crystals located in the inner ear called otoconia. Usually, these crystals stay in the bony tubes of the inner ear like they’re supposed to. Sometimes they can become dislodged and find their way into the semicircular canals and cause a mismatch of information about your actual head movement and the signals your ear sends to your brain. That’s why rolling over in bed can cause you to feel dizzy. If your doctor or Audiologist decide that you do in fact have BPPV, they will likely suggest a few of the following treatment options.
There are a variety of positional maneuvers that can be performed in the office. Most of the maneuvers focus on moving the crystals back to a place in the inner ear where they won’t cause you to feel dizzy. The Epley maneuver uses gravity to help coax the calcium crystals into a better position. This can be taught in the office and then practiced at home for maximum relief. Then there’s the Semont maneuver which is reported to have a cure rate of 90.3%. Semont is performed in the office by having a patient sit on the exam table with their legs hanging off and going through a series of quick head movements. Each move is held for 3 minutes and when they have all been completed the dizziness or vertigo is decreased or gone altogether. The professionals at ABHA are well-trained and highly experienced to ensure your safety.
While feeling dizzy at an amusement park may be great, you probably don’t want to risk falling in your daily life. Talking to Dr. Dana Day and completing the painless and non-invasive balance testing can help you deal with your dizziness before it becomes dangerous. Call us to schedule your balance test at 602-265-9000 today!