How to know if your hearing is affecting your balance isn’t necessarily easy, but there are some symptoms that indicate a link.
Here’s what you need to know about the signs, as well as important information about where to turn for hearing and balance care.
How to Know if Your Hearing Is Affecting Your Balance: Here Are Common Signs
Hearing plays a significant role in maintaining balance, so when it is impaired, it can affect one’s ability to stay steady on their feet. Here are five signs that your hearing may be impacting your balance:
- Dizziness or vertigo: If you experience unexplained dizziness or vertigo, it may be due to issues with the inner ear. The inner ear contains both the hearing and balance organs, so problems in this area can affect both functions.
- Difficulty walking in the dark: People with hearing loss may rely more on visual cues for balance. When navigating in the dark, those with hearing impairment might struggle more with balance due to the absence of visual information.
- Frequent falls: Hearing-impaired individuals are more prone to falls, especially in situations where they can’t rely on visual or auditory cues.
- Chronic ear Infections: Repeated infections can damage inner ear structures that are responsible for both hearing and balance. If you experience frequent ear infections, it’s essential to have them treated promptly to prevent long-term issues.
- Difficulty with uneven surfaces: People with hearing impairment may find it challenging to navigate uneven or unstable surfaces, as they rely heavily on visual and auditory input to maintain balance.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider, to assess your hearing and balance. Addressing hearing loss and associated balance problems can significantly improve your quality of life and help reduce the risk of falls and related injuries.
Now that you know how to know if your hearing is affecting your balance, the next step is to see a specialist for hearing and balance disorders. But what type of health professional should you see?
What Doctors Treat Hearing and Balance Disorders?
There are two top options if you’re experiencing a balance disorder that you suspect is also related to hearing: an audiologist and an ear, nose, and throat specialist, or ENT.
These experts undergo extensive training to effectively diagnose and manage a broad spectrum of conditions concerning hearing and equilibrium, encompassing issues like hearing impairment, vertigo, tinnitus, and various auditory and vestibular disorders.
- Audiologists: Audiologists are dedicated healthcare specialists who concentrate on managing hearing and balance disorders after assessing overall healing health and making a diagnosis. They possess proficiency in conducting comprehensive hearing assessments, identifying instances of hearing loss, and providing rehabilitative services, including the fitting and maintenance of hearing aids and related devices.
Audiologists cater to patients across the age spectrum, from infants to seniors, addressing a wide range of hearing-related concerns. They are equipped to assist in the management of inner ear-related balance disorders.
- ENTs: ENT doctors, medically referred to as otolaryngologists, are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions associated with the ears, nose, throat, as well as the head and neck. Their training equips them to manage a diverse array of medical issues, including those related to hearing and balance.
In addition to conducting surgical procedures for ear-related disorders, such as cochlear implant surgery for severe hearing loss, they possess the skills to address more intricate cases. ENT doctors are also capable of overseeing conditions like sinus infections, allergies, vocal cord concerns, and head and neck cancers.
In many instances, audiologists and ENT doctors collaborate to offer comprehensive care for patients dealing with hearing and balance challenges. Audiologists often perform diagnostic tests and recommend non-surgical treatment options, while ENT doctors handle more intricate cases and surgical interventions if necessary.
Restore Balance and Treat Hearing-Related Concerns With Our Top-Rated Audiology and ENT Team
Here at ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery, our outstanding hearing and balance specialists collaborate to provide the metropolitan area’s best care.
To schedule an appointment, contact us today at 703-448-0005, and be on your way to better health!