Goshen Speech and Hearing Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of balance disorders and vertigo. Our goal is to accurately diagnose patients and provide or recommend treatment so that patients may resume normal activities.
Vestibular (balance) disorders can cause impaired balance, making it difficult to maintain orientation. For example, patients may feel that they or the things around them are spinning. When this happens, they may not be able to walk well or get up if seated or laying down.
Symptoms of a person with a balance disorder include:
- Sensation of dizziness or vertigo (spinning)
- Lightheadedness or faintness
- Feeling of falling
- Blurred vision
- Vomiting and nausea
Some patients may also experience changes in blood pressure and heart rate, fear, and anxiety. Reactions to balance disorder symptoms include depression, fatigue, and reduced concentration. Symptoms may appear and disappear over short or long time periods.
Some of the more common balance disorders are Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), labrynthitis, Ménière’s disease, vestibular neuronitis, and perilymph fistula.
Diagnosing balance disorders
Diagnosing a balance disorder can be complicated because many factors may contribute to the problem. Balance disorders may be caused by other medical conditions such as ear infections, blood circulation changes, injuries to the visual or skeletal system, or medication reactions.
Once a primary physician has ruled out basic medical problems, an otologist specializing in disorders of the ear may be brought in to help evaluate if a balance problem exists. Otologists and neurotologists are ENT subspecialists who focus on disorders affecting the ears, including ear infections, hearing loss, tinnitus, dizziness, and vertigo.
Diagnostic testing may include a hearing examination, blood tests, electronystagmogram (ENG), videonystagmography (VNG), or imaging of the head and brain.
Treating balance disorders and vertigo
Individual treatment for balance disorders varies and is based upon the patient’s symptoms, medical history, general health, and the results of medical examinations and tests.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) involves balance retraining exercises of the head and body. VRT can help with a variety of vestibular disorders, including unilateral or bilateral vestibular hypofunction (reduced inner ear function) associated with Ménière’s disease, BPPV, vestibular neuritis, and labyrinthitis.
For patients diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that causes severe vertigo, dietary changes may help. For some people, reducing the intake of sodium, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine may help the symptoms associated with the disease. Other medical and surgical treatments also exist. For patients with anxiety issues, talk therapy and/or physical rehabilitation may be recommended.
Goshen Speech and Hearing Center provides therapeutic techniques to diagnose and treat the cause of your symptoms. We provide professional audiology and speech-language therapy services to the Orange County, NY and Greater Hudson Valley community as well as the surrounding areas of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
Contact our office by calling (845) 294-0661 to schedule an appointment.