Why you should see an ENT if you’re having balance issues
Feel like you’re sailing rough waters despite your feet being firmly planted on land? Does the room look like a teacup ride when you’re just sitting on your couch? Or perhaps standing up leaves you with two left feet, grasping for support until you find your balance? Balance issues can be distressing, especially when they interfere with your daily life. While there are many factors that can contribute to a sense of dizziness, there’s only one person you should see for help: an ENT. Why should you see an ENT if you’re having balance issues?
Ear, Nose and Throat doctors, ENTs, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the ear, nose and throat. What do the ear, nose or throat have to do with balance? Balance issues often stem from the inner ear, so an ENT is your go-to for evaluating and correcting balance disorders. A few of the underlying causes of dizziness that ENTs treat include:
- Ear infections. Infections in the middle ear are caused by a virus or bacteria. Ear infections usually begin as another illness, such as the flu or a cold. As the tubes that are responsible for draining the ear become inflamed, fluid becomes trapped and infected. This interferes with the functioning of the inner ear, leading to balance issues.
- Inner ear disorders. The vestibular system in the inner ear coordinates movements with the body’s awareness of those movements. When this system fails to send the correct signals about the location of the body in relation to itself, dizziness, imbalance or vertigo can result. A common example of a vestibular disorder is motion sickness.
An ENT can also diagnose visual problems, respiratory disorders, blood pressure, circulatory issues, neurological conditions and medication side effects that may be impacting your balance. At your appointment, an ENT will review your medical history, lifestyle and balance history. An ENT may perform tests to evaluate the functioning of your inner ear, as well as to rule out other potential causes. Further balance tests, hearing screenings or even imaging may be recommended to get to the root of the problem.
Depending on the underlying cause, your ENT will determine the best course of treatment. This may include medication, physical therapy or lifestyle changes.
If you’re experiencing balance issues, don’t wait to see a doctor. Call an ENT specialist at Biltmore ENT at (602) 560-1085. They’ll work to diagnose and treat your balance issues, restoring your balance and quality of life.