Problems in body balance can negatively impact a person’s life. It increases the likelihood of falling and creates terror in the mind.

Moreover, disturbed body balance causes symptoms like dizziness and unsteadiness in older adults.

Therefore, doctors typically review a patient’s medical history and conduct a physical and neurological examination to solve these issues.

However, treatment varies depending on the cause derived from one’s medical history and general health.

Most of these issues arise from brain or inner ear problems. However, some may also result from physical weakness, broken bones, and muscle injuries. They can make walking or moving difficult and cause a feeling of spinning.

Therefore, diagnosing the cause is often difficult. You can get Help for Meniere’s disease or other ear problems that cause these issues. However, understanding the symptoms is important before you visit a doctor.

In this article, we shall discuss ear diseases that cause dizziness and unsteadiness and affect the overall body balance.

Body Balance: How Does It Work?

The inner ear contains the vestibular system. It gives the brain information regarding equilibrium and spatial location of the body.

Moreover, it collaborates with the brain and eyes to produce a fluid, coordinated gait.

The brain uses the vestibular system to help it coordinate a variety of tasks, including standing, walking, reaching for things, and determining whether the body is moving.

Functions Of The Ear

Audiologists specialize in assessing and treating the auditory and balance systems in the ear. They divide the ear into three parts:

  • Outer.
  • Middle.
  • Inner ear.

The outer ear, consisting of the pinna and ear canal, helps determine sound direction. Starting at the eardrum, the middle ear includes three ossicles that move when sound is detected.

The inner ear, which houses the cochlea and vestibular system, transmits information about balance, motion, and body location to the brain via three semicircular canals.

Next, these canals, each with hair cells and fluid, help the body maintain balance.

Therefore, issues in the inner ear can cause balance difficulties, dizziness, and vertigo. The vestibular system also provides information about head and body location.

Ear Problems Leading To Disbalanced Movements

Given below are the two major ear problems that you must understand to figure out the cause of your body disbalance early—

1. Vertigo

The Epley technique consists of a sequence of deliberate head and body motions, often known as the canalith repositioning operation.

This 15-minute office technique is intended to realign any loose calcium crystals in your inner ears straightforwardly and painlessly. However, this process might need repetitive interventions to complete.

Therefore, the patient must avoid sitting flat for the remainder of the day after getting home and maintain the treated ear above shoulder level. You must keep your head on cushions on the night of the surgery. Subsequently, the symptoms fade away by the next day.

At this point, head posture constraints should become unnecessary.

Most likely, your BPPV will go away on its own in a few days or weeks. Therefore, you might not always need medication for this problem.

2. Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease is a chronic health issue that affects only one ear and can cause symptoms such as the following:

  • Hearing loss.
  • Balance issues.
  • Feeling full.
  • Ringing in the ear.

Symptoms can be minimized with medication like Meclizine (Antivert), diuretics, salt restriction, and vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

However, long-term use of these drugs is advised due to potential side effects and dizziness worsening in older adults.

Efficiently distribute meals throughout the day to regulate fluids, with five or six small meals better than three large ones.

Moreover, meniere’s disease symptoms can fluctuate over time. However, other treatments like the following can also help reduce the symptoms of this disease:

  • Vestibular rehabilitation therapy.
  • Hearing aids.
  • Middle ear medicine shots.

Avoid using monosodium glutamate (MSG) as a preventive measure, as it may cause fluid retention.

How To Get Diagnosed?

If you’re experiencing balance issues, a doctor may recommend several tests to determine if there are issues with the inner ear’s balance function.

These tests include the following:

  • Hearing tests.
  • Posturography tests.
  • Videonystagmography tests.
  • Rotary chair tests.
  • The Dix-Hallpike maneuver.
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potential tests.

Also, balance problems often accompany hearing difficulties. Posturography tests, on the other hand, help measure the parts of the balance system that are most relied upon.

Moreover, electronystagmography and videonystagmography tests help doctors analyze eye movements. These tests are crucial for vestibular function and balance.

However, doctors use other tests as well.

The list can include imaging tests like MRI and CT scans and blood pressure and heart rate tests. Together, these tests help doctors identify underlying medical conditions causing balance problems.