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Balance Disorders and What They Entail
Our sense of balance is mainly controlled by the labyrinth, which is a maze-like structure within our inner ear.
One end of the labyrinth, which is made up of loops and pouches of tissue is in charge of maintaining our balance. On the other end of the labyrinth is an organ called the cochlea, which allows us to hear.
So what causes a balance disorder to occur?
A balance disorder can arise due to several reasons, the main ones being:
- Viral or Bacterial Infections in the inner ear
- Low Blood Pressure - can make a person feel dizzy when they stand up
- Head injuries
- Problems in the skeletal system- such as arthritis
- Problems in the circulatory or visual systems
Many balance disorders can begin out of the blue and with no evident cause.
Types and Symptoms of Balance Disorders
There are dozens of types of Balance disorders, but some of the most familiar ones are positional vertigo, Labyrinthitis, Ménière's disease and MdDS (Mal de debarquement syndrome).
Let’s start with positional vertigo. This balance disorder causes a severe vertigo episode to take place because of a certain change of head position. Positional vertigo could be a result of a head injury or aging.
Labyrinthitis is an infection or inflammation that occurs in the inner ear and causes dizziness and loss of balance.
Ménière's disease is linked to a change in fluid volume inside certain parts of the labyrinth. This type of disease leads to episodes of vertigo, irregular hearing loss and a ringing in the ear. Till this day the cause of Ménière's disease is unknown.
Finally, Mal de debarquement syndrome is a balance disorder that makes you feel as if you’re incessantly rocking or bobbing back and forth. This usually happens following sea travel and can go away in a few hours or a day, however, some severe cases can last up to a few months.
The most common symptoms of a balance disorder are:
- dizziness or vertigo
- feeling as if you’re falling
- blurred vision
Please don't lose hope, however frustrating this condition may be, as treatment for balance disorders is available.
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Auditory Therapy and Its Benefits
Auditory therapy, also known as sound therapy, is a known treatment for individuals with balance disorders.
There are several methods of auditory therapy, but they all require the application of sound waves and harmonic vibrations to the body using different instruments, including the human voice.
It is theorized that symptoms of balance disorders such as vertigo are due to spasms and twitches that occur in a muscle in the middle ear, called the stirrup. The stirrup muscles role is to manage the pressure on the inner ear’s fluid.
When the stirrup muscle goes into spasm, there is an immediate change in the pressure of fluid in the inner ear, which sends the brain signals that there was a sudden movement of the head, which in turn causes a person to feel like the room is spinning.
With the use of auditory therapy, the stirrup muscle can be healed, and will no longer spasm which will restore normal pressure balance in the inner ear, relieving the person of the balance disorder symptoms.
Auditory therapy has many other benefits, but the most common ones are reported as fewer headaches, stress relief, improved attention span and having more energy.
Treatment for Balance Disorders in Ottawa
Nobody should have to put up with the uncomfortable symptoms of balance disorders, and we’re here to help make sure you don’t have to.
Our experienced balance experts have made it their mission to make you feel like your old self again with the help of auditory therapy.
If you are undergoing balance issues in Ottawa or a nearby community, book an appointment with us today and let us get you on the road to recovery.