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Problem With Balance Specialist

Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. -  - Otolaryngologist

Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC.

Otolaryngologists & Audiologists located in Kittery, ME & Stratham, NH

Most people take their balance for granted, not giving it a second thought until something goes wrong. Then they suddenly start having dizzy spells, falling for no apparent reason, or can’t stay steady on their feet. The compassionate team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. offers comprehensive care for problems with balance, creating individualized treatment plans that diminish the problem and retrain your body to restore balance. If you need help with balance problems, call the office in Kittery, Maine, or Stratham, New Hampshire, or book an appointment online today.

Problem with Balance Q & A

What causes problems with balance?

Your body’s ability to balance depends on three systems: the vestibular system (inner ear), visual system (eyes), and somatosensory system.

The somatosensory system includes a network of nerves and sensors in your muscles, joints, and skin that detect pressure, touch, pain, temperature, movement, position, and vibration.

All three systems must be healthy and in sync with one another to maintain good balance. A problem in any one system can lead to a balance disorder. 

These are only a few examples of conditions that cause balance problems:

  • Inner ear infections
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Low blood pressure
  • Visual problems
  • Musculoskeletal diseases like arthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Meniere’s disease

As you get older, changes in the three systems occur that often cause a gradual, progressive problem with balance.

What symptoms occur if I have a problem with balance?

When something is wrong with your balance, you experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo (spinning)
  • Feeling off-balance
  • Blurry vision
  • Disorientation
  • Stumbling or falling

You may also have a hard time standing up from a sitting or lying position.

How are problems with balance diagnosed?

Your medical history, symptoms, and the results of a neurological and physical examination are important for diagnosing balance problems. 

Due to the many possible causes of balance disorders, you may also need specialized testing, such as:

  • Hearing tests
  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Posturography test
  • Electronystagmography test
  • Videonystagmography test
  • Rotary chair test
  • Dix-Hallpike maneuver
  • Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials test
  • Diagnostic imaging (MRI or CT scans)
  • Heart rate testing

By design, several of these tests evaluate your eye movements while turning your head or body.

How are balance problems treated?

Your provider at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. begins by treating the underlying condition responsible for your balance problem. Considering the large number of possible causes, there are too many potential treatments to list here. But in many cases, the treatment helps to restore normal balance.

If restoring your balance isn’t possible, your provider recommends balance therapy or vestibular rehabilitation. Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise program that teaches your body to compensate for balance problems.

Balance therapy incorporates a variety of exercises and techniques that target your individual challenges. Habituation exercises are one example. These exercises diminish dizziness through repeated exposure to the trigger that makes you dizzy.

If you feel dizzy or have other symptoms of a balance problem, call Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC., or schedule an appointment online today.