The Balance Disorder Specialists North Texas Trusts
Being unsteady on your feet is more than just an inconvenience; it can also pose a significant risk to your health and interrupt your capacity to continue living your independent lifestyle. In fact, more than 50% of the accidental deaths and over 300,000 hip fractures among the elderly are associated with balance-related falls.
If you’re feeling a bit unsteady on your feet and looking for a solution to alleviate balance disorder symptoms, you are probably asking, “Is there a balance disorder specialist near me?”
Denton Hearing Health Care provides the most trusted balance disorder solutions in North Texas. Our doctors of audiology have the expertise and state-of-the-art technology that allow us to diagnose and treat balance disorders by using simple, non-invasive tests and proven treatment methods.
What Happens during a Balance Test
Many people hesitate to undergo testing because they don’t know what takes place during a balance test. To ease your mind, here is what to expect during your balance assessment.
Before Your Assessment
Balance and Vestibular Tests
The advanced technology tests used by our doctors during a balance test may include any of the following:
#1 ENG and VNG Tests
These tests help us evaluate how your visual system is coordinating with your other balance systems. Electronystagmography (ENG) uses electrodes to record eye movements while the videonystagmography (VNG) version uses small cameras to record eye movements.
#2 VEMP Test
Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) tests help identify vestibular lesions that can contribute to balance issues. After attaching sensor pads to your neck, forehead, and under your eyes, we are able to measure each minute muscle contraction as you react to different sounds.
#3 Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT)
Your audiologist could use vHIT to measure your vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). When working properly, head movements are accompanied by equal and opposite eye movements (VORs) while limited reactions help pinpoint the cause of your imbalance.
What Our Delighted Patients Say
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a balance disorder?
A. Maintaining your balance requires coordinated efforts between three of your body’s systems, such as cues from your visual system, orientation information from your vestibular system, and sensory input from muscles and joints or your proprioceptive system. Balance disorders are the result of a disturbance or malfunction in one or more of these systems, although they are most often linked to problems with the vestibular system.
The vestibular system is located in the inner ear. It works to detect movement and changes to the positioning of your head and/or body similar to how the bubble in a carpenter’s level tells you when an object is level. Although more prevalent in the elderly as the structures of the inner ear begin to deteriorate, balance disorders can affect people of any age due to disease, syndromes, toxins, or trauma.
Q. Do I have a balance disorder?
A. Common symptoms of balance disorders related to the inner ear can be divided into two main categories:
Experiencing dizziness (an overall feeling of imbalance) or vertigo (the sensation that you’re moving or your surroundings are spinning) while sitting still, reclining, or moving your head. These are symptoms that might come and go rapidly or continue for several hours at a time.
Imbalance or Unsteadiness
The feeling of unsteadiness you experience when you get up from a chair, difficulty walking, or unsteadiness related to any type of upright movement are additional symptoms of an inner ear balance disorder.
Q. Are balance disorders serious?
A. Balance disorders often appear suddenly and take people by surprise. They can be both frightening and extremely disruptive to people’s lives. More than 50% of the accidental deaths and over 300,000 hip fractures among the elderly are associated with balance-related falls, so balance disorders need to be taken seriously due to the risks to yourself and those around you.
Q. What can cause balance disorders?
A. The three most common causes of balance disorders include:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) occurs when calcium carbonate, otoconia, from the utricle breaks off and migrates into one of the semi-circular canals. The displaced otoconia disturbs the normal movement of the fluid within the semi-circular canals, which produces false signals to the brain and the sensation of vertigo.
Motion Sickness or Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS)
Similar to motion sickness, MdDS is a neurological disorder related to the signaling function of your vestibular system, which makes you feel as if you are rocking, swaying, or continuing to move after exiting a car, boat, plane, or a treadmill. Confused by the false signaling, your brain overreacts to the sensation of motion, resulting in dizziness, vertigo, nausea, and imbalance.
Although migraines are usually associated with an intense headache, vestibular migraines are a neurological disorder that produces dizziness, vertigo, nausea, eye pain, changes to vision, and balance disorders. Vestibular migraines are hereditary, affecting 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men, and often coincide with BPPV, Méniére’s disease (an increased pressure in the inner ear), and transient ischemic attack (TIA), or “mini-stroke.”
Q. How is a balance disorder treated?
A. The treatment options typically relate to the underlying cause of the condition and may include:
Used to treat BPPV, canalith repositioning helps remove the otoconia from the semicircular canal and returns them to the utricle. Successful in treating 95% of cases, treatment takes only minutes and requires no more than 3-4 visits.
Beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin or serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs or SNRIs), topiramate, and others can be prescribed to ease the dizziness, vertigo, or motion sickness associated with MdDS as well as other medications to address the buildup of pressure related to Méniére’s disease.
For those who experience an accompanying hearing loss due to inner ear damage, hearing aids provide a dual solution for both hearing and balance issues. Studies indicate a measurable advantage in balance for those who wear hearing aids over those with a hearing loss who do not use hearing aids.
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)
The most common treatment used to address balance disorders is VRT, or vestibular rehabilitation therapy, which involves manual head maneuvers and/or a progressive program of exercises designed to decrease the symptoms of vertigo, help overcome visual issues, and protect patients against falls related to imbalance.
Schedule a Balance Test
Motion intolerance, which typically includes vertigo and dizziness, or feeling unsteady on your feet tends to have an extreme negative impact on your quality of life by limiting your ability to perform the tasks of daily living or your capacity to enjoy an active social life.
Restoring your independence and improving your quality of life is the reason our audiologists at Denton Hearing Health Care provide testing and treatment for balance disorders for individuals throughout North Texas.
After completing and submitting the adjacent form, someone from our team will call you back to help schedule a balance assessment and start the treatment you need.
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