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Home > Medical Services > Ear, Nose & Throat > Ear Care > Dizziness & Balance Disorders
Our sense of balance is something we rely on continuously to maintain stability and coordinate movement. The ability of the body to maintain stability involves the interaction of information from the inner ear (vestibular system), eyes (visual system) and the feeling in your feet (proprioceptive system). When one of more of these systems is not functioning appropriately, it can result in the loss of balance. If you or a loved one is suffering from imbalance, dizziness or vertigo, schedule a visit with a clinic specializing in otology or neurotology to pinpoint the problem.
At Mercy’s Hearing and Balance Clinic, our staff and expertise are conveniently located in one place. The wide array of specialized services for hearing and balance disorders ensures professional evaluation of patients’ individual conditions, followed by a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan.
A remarkable combination of finely tuned systems in our body help maintain equilibrium. This depends on the healthy interaction of three primary balance systems: the vestibular (inner ear), visual, and proprioception (our sense of touch and feel). The brainstem and cerebellum, two areas of our central nervous system, receive and process data they receive from the three sensory input systems. This results in a coordinated response that enables us to maintain our balance and stability.
Our system of balance is complex, incorporating our visual system, muscle and joint sensory nerves (proprioception), and the inner ear (the vestibular system). Otologists and neurotologists are specialists who evaluate and treat balance disorders.
Symptoms can include unsteadiness or may be perceived as a sense of motion known as vertigo (or a spinning sensation). Balance disorders can cause disorientation, nausea, vomiting, irritability and anxiety. Medical evaluation includes tests focused on the functions of the inner ear; several of these tests can be done in the evaluator’s office; out-of-office tests – CT scan and/or MRI – are often used.
There are a variety of treatment options, depending on the individual’s condition, including medication, dietary changes, lifestyle modification, allergy evaluation and vestibular rehabilitation therapy. Some cases may require surgery to permanently control symptoms. Learn about balance disorders treated at Mercy’s Hearing & Balance Clinic.
Tests are run to determine the type of balance issue or hearing disorder a patient may have. Mercy’s Hearing & Balance Clinic offers a variety of testing to assist in diagnosis and treatment.
Once a diagnosis has been reached, treatment or rehabilitation options are determined to improve or eliminate the condition.