Hearing loss can bring out some unpleasant conditions. One of the common problems people with hearing loss face is participating in active conversations. Also, anxiety, insomnia, and depression can appear if the situation is not treated immediately and effectively.
Among some of the more complicated issues associated with hearing loss, vertigo is one of them. It can cause balance issues in a person. Often vertigo can appear if you have head trauma-related hearing loss.
Most people with hearing loss issues often complain of experiencing dizziness or losing balance. So, the primary question is, can hearing loss cause vertigo? In this article, we will try to find a definitive answer.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a serious condition and it can disrupt your balance. It can make you feel light-headed, and you may feel like your surroundings are spinning around you. Also, you can lose balance and feel disoriented due to vertigo.
Vertigo is often associated with conditions such as headaches, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. You may feel faint and can even throw up in some cases.
The symptoms of vertigo last for varying periods for each individual. Some may get rid of it within a few seconds or minutes. For some, it may last for several hours to days.
The degree of severity may also fluctuate. Some may experience mild symptoms for a brief period; some can have unpredictable and severe symptoms. The underlying condition is responsible for the varying degrees of vertigo conditions.
The symptoms of vertigo can vary hugely from person to person. Sudden changes in the position of the head can also be a reason for dizziness. If you suddenly change position, like standing up from a sitting position, vertigo can affect your balance.
As both your hearing and balancing are located in the cochlea, these two conditions can occur simultaneously. Head trauma can be a prominent reason for vertigo and hearing loss. Some may fall a lot more often due to their vertigo.
With the increase of age, the body cells start to decay. This is why older adults are more prone to developing vertigo. However, it can occur due to underlying health conditions as well.
Relation Between Hearing Loss and Vertigo
The collection of tissues and bones in the inner ear is mainly responsible for controlling our balance. The cochlea is situated inside the inner ear, and it is responsible for our ability to hear. The fluid inside the cochlea gives us proper balance.
Any problem in this part of the inner ear can cause problems with balance and hearing. Therefore, hearing loss and vertigo can often occur together. The relationship between vertigo and hearing loss has been well established. This is why people who are experiencing loss of balance or dizziness will need to get their hearing tested.
If you experience dizziness accompanied by sudden hearing loss, you might have Ménierè’s disease. This condition highly affects the inner ear and the vestibular system. These are responsible for maintaining balance.
Ménierè’s disease causes the buildup of fluids in the inner ear and the cochlea. It may leave the cochlea swollen, leading to vertigo symptoms and hearing loss.
In some cases, vertigo may not occur due to an inner ear condition. Poor coordination between the brain and the balance system can also be responsible for dizziness and fainting. Some may find dizziness associated with infection, migraine, tumor, or sclerosis conditions.
Also, if the muscles of the eyes are not in proper balance, it can lead to loss of balance often. In those cases, blurred vision, reading difficulties, inability to focus can occur simultaneously.
Treatment of Hearing Loss-Related Vertigo
Although vertigo is a severe condition, no specific medication to treat it has yet been discovered. The doctors help their patients to manage the symptoms by reducing the frequency and severity of these dizzy episodes.
For some patients, the doctors will recommend motion sickness and anti-nausea medications to help reduce the severity of the attack. Sometimes limiting your salt intake and reducing fluid in the inner ear can help as well.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy and positive pressure therapy may be effective in improving your balance. Positive pressure therapy is also proven to help manage aural pressure and tinnitus symptoms. However, long-term success is still under debate.
If you are having problems with your hearing, hearing aids can really help. These devices can be programmed according to your unique requirements. Also, digital hearing aids can automatically adjust to different environments. You should consult an audiologist as soon as you experience hearing loss or any symptoms of loss of balance. Your audiologist can help you diagnose the problem and suggest the best device to manage your condition.
In severe cases of vertigo, you will need to remove the fluid build-up in your ear surgically. Vestibular nerve section, labyrinthectomy, endolymphatic sac procedures are the standard surgeries used for treating Ménierè’s disease.
If your inner ear gets damaged, it is possible to develop both hearing loss and vertigo. So, in a way, both of these diseases are related to each other. With proper treatment, these conditions can be managed pretty easily.
Hearing aids can help you regain your hearing abilities to some extent. It can also help you out with maintaining proper balance. In any case, consulting an expert at the earliest possible time can give you the best results.