WHAT IS VERTIGO AND WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?

Though there are different types of Vertigo, they are all caused by issues with the inner ear.

One type is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, which can be caused by a build-up of small particles of calcium in the inner ear. Another cause can be Vestibular neuritis, which is an infection in the nerves of the inner ear. Meniere’s disease can also be the culprit, causing fluid retention in the inner ear. Vertigo is marked by a dizziness that will not abate. You may feel off-balance or like you are spinning, or even that everything else is moving. This can give you the feeling of being pulled in one direction and can make it difficult to keep your balance.

Dizziness is the most common symptom of Vertigo, but did you know there are other symptoms as well?

Symptoms and Side Effects of Vertigo

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is another common symptom that can accompany Vertigo. At first the ringing or buzzing sounds may only be in conjunction with episodes of Vertigo, but some people experience an escalation as the noise becomes more intense and continual.

Migraines can be a symptom of Vertigo, and they can be caused by fluid or calcium particle build-up in the inner ear.

Nausea can also accompany Vertigo (as well as migraines), as you feel off-balance or as if you are spinning. In severe cases, vomiting can result.

Eye twitching, also called nystagmus, can be a symptom of Vertigo. Stress and fatigue can cause the eyelid muscles to spasm for hours or even days. Rest will most often relieve this symptom.

Hearing loss may follow episodes of Vertigo, especially if it is caused by Meniere’s disease. Low-frequency, progressive hearing loss in a single ear is commonly experienced in these cases. Additionally you may find your hearing loses quality: becoming tinny or even experiencing pain with loud noises. Ultimately if progression continues, deafness in one ear can result.

Panic Attacks can occur as a result of anxiety from not knowing when the next episode of Vertigo will occur.

Sweating is a common side effect of Vertigo as well. Vertigo attacks can cause sweating because they often cause panic, which results in sweating, as well as chills.

Fatigue can also be a result of Vertigo, because the state of feeling constantly unbalanced can be physically exhausting. The uncertainty of when an episode may occur can also cause worry and mental stress that can make a person tired.

Ear pressure, or a feeling of “fullness” inside of the ear, also called Aural Fullness, can be caused by barometric shifts and be an accompanying sign of Vertigo. This can sometimes be triggered by pressure changes, such as when ascending or descending in an airplane.

Vertigo is often temporary, but if there is an underlying condition that is causing it, that should be addressed to resolve or alleviate the issue. Seeing your doctor to determine the cause is necessary to know what treatment is needed. A visit to your audiologist for a hearing screening is also important to ensure your hearing is not affected.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

WELCOME SPRING – PREPARE YOUR EARS!

Spring is in the air! The weather is changing and we are already starting to enjoy blooming flowers and warmer! With the changing of seasons, we also get rainy weather, seasonal allergies, and erratic temperatures. Along with hearing aids, these changes can affect us, but we can downplay those effects.

The Weather is Changing

With changing weather, some people have a feeling of fullness in their ears. Barometric pressure changes with changes in the weather and causes this sensation of fullness, and makes the fluid in the inner ear sensitive to the weather. Seasonal allergy sufferers can experience this even more intensely.

Meniere’s disease can make the irritating symptoms even worse in the Springtime. The chambers of the inner ear can bulge and the fluid may back up. Difficulty hearing and discomfort as well as vertigo or tinnitus may sometimes result from this build-up.

Seasonal Allergies

Sinus pressure and sneezing can also result from seasonal allergies and add pressure to the inner ear. Seasonal allergies affect 40 percent of children and between 10 and 30 percent of adults. Up to 60 million Americans experience sneezing, ear pressure, sinus pressure, and itchy, watery eyes. Each of these symptoms can affect hearing temporarily.

Ear pressure can be temporarily relieved with non-prescription medications such as antihistamines and decongestants. Moderate exercise and a sensible diet of whole foods often improve these symptoms. Vegetables and fruits, like bell peppers, grapes, asparagus, watermelon, and celery serve as diuretics and promote fluid drainage.

Spring-time and Hearing Aids

Warmer, wetter weather may also affect the functionality of your hearing aids. Your hearing aids’ maintenance and care of during this time of year may also require more attention. The microphone ports can sometimes get obstructed by matter such as bee pollen. Proper cleaning of your hearing aids is important, and be sure to replace the mic port covers when needed.

Moisture from the heat, rain and humidity of spring and summer can also be introduced to your hearing aids, building up in the tubing and causing static in the receiver or microphone. Ensuring your hearing aids stay dry when going out in wet or humid weather can prevent issues.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.

DO YOU KNOW THE LESS COMMON CAUSES OF HEARING LOSS?

You probably know the most common causes of hearing loss: quick exposure to extreme noise, like a gunshot near your ear or an explosion; or long-term exposure to noise above 80 decibels, such as ongoing proximity to factory machinery, lawnmowers or loud music.

There are some other not-so-common causes of hearing damage that you may be unfamiliar with. If you are experiencing hearing loss and have not had exposure to loud noise, you may have one of these less common causes.

Diplacusis is a phenomenon where people experience “double hearing,” similar to “double vision.” There is a shift in pitch perception and this can cause them to hear one sound as two sounds. Often this can occur with people who have hearing impairment in only one ear, with normal hearing in the other ear. People with conductive hearing loss can sometimes experience diplacusis temporarily. Musicians are most likely to notice this phenomenon.

Otitis Media is also known as an ear infection. Ear infections can result from a cold and can interfere with hearing. Seventy-five percent of children have experience otitis media at least once by the age of three, but it can affect people of any age.

Usher syndrome is believed to be responsible for three to six percent of all childhood deafness and up to 50% of blindness and deafness in adults. Usher syndrome is inherited, and the symptoms include deafness or hearing loss, issues with balance, and retinitis pigmetosa, a vision disorder. Children born with type 1 Usher syndrome are born deaf, while those with type 2 are born with some hearing damage and those with type 3 are born with normal hearing but suffer with progressive hearing and vision loss that may affect them as teenagers or young adults.

Meniere’s Disease is a chronic inner ear condition affecting hearing and balance. If you think you have vertigo but it does not go away, you may be suffering from Meniere’s Disease. It is thought to be caused by an imbalance of inner ear fluid, and may be caused by things such as allergies, head trauma, viral infections, migraines, or the inability of the ear to drain properly. Meniere’s Disease may also be hereditary.

Acoustic Neuroma is a rare condition, affecting approximately two in every 100,000 people. It is a slow-growing and benign brain tumor that develops in the cranial nerve connecting the brain to the ear. The symptoms may include loss of hearing in one ear, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), vertigo (dizziness) and balance issues.

No matter what the cause, if you suspect you have hearing loss it is best to visit your audiologist right away to take the best course of action. Your audiologist may offer a solution that can slow or halt the progression of hearing loss.

Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.