We keep our balance by using a mixture of different systems: the eyes, the ears, and information from our muscles and joints.
In Audiology, we specialise in testing and treating balance difficulties that are due to problems in the ear (the vestibular system). This system helps you know where you are when you are moving your head around. Having a problem with this system can make people feel dizzy or unsteady, often feeling as though they are moving around even when they are not.
Inside the inner ear there are tiny chalky crystals which can come loose and float into a different part of the vestibular system. When this happens, people may experience brief spinning sensations when they are looking up, bending down, lying flat or turning over in bed. Sometimes this problem will clear by itself. If not, we can do a re-positioning manoeuvre to move the crystals back to where they should be.
If you have previously been treated for BPPV and feel that your dizziness has come back then please contact us.
Sometimes it is not clear why people are having dizzy spells and so we need to do further tests to better understand the problem. Because of the close connection between the eyes and the vestibular system we are able to test your vestibular system by recording your eye movements whilst you do different tasks. Depending on the type of problem you have we may also do a test that looks at your overall standing balance or we may put water into your ears to measure how well your vestibular system responds.
Audiology can give exercises to help to retrain your brain to listen to the different balance systems (eyes, ears, muscles and joints). The exercises are designed to make you feel a little dizzy whilst you are doing them but this helps your brain to learn and reduces your symptoms in the long term.
If you have previously been seen for vestibular rehabilitation and feel that your problems have come back then please contact us.