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Central Coast Audiology is excited announce our new affiliation with the American Institute of Balance (AIB), located in Largo, FL. AIB is one of the country’s best-known diagnostic, treatment and educational facilities specializing in equilibrium disorders. The institute is widely recognized for providing practitioners with the most current clinical and scientific breakthroughs in treatments. We are proud to announce that AIB has qualified us as a Center of Specialty Care!

Understanding Vertigo

Did you know…

  • According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), dizziness or loss of balance will affect 90 million Americans sometime during their lifetime.
  • Dizziness is the number one complaint reported to medical providers in adults 70 years of age or older.
  • Balance-related falls account for more than one-half of accidental deaths in the elderly.
  • Balance-related falls cause over 300,000 hip fractures in individuals over 65 years of age.
  • Inner ear disorders or ear infections can result imbalance and vertigo affecting a person’s ability to walk, roll over in bed, see or think clearly, or to read or watch television.
  • Many times, disorders of the inner ear are misdiagnosed as a more severe neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis, or as clinical depression.
  • Inner ear disturbances account for 85% of dizzy disorders.
  • Children can also be affected by inner ear disorders and are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as learning disabled, dyslexic, or psychologically disturbed.
  • Illness, infections, disease, head injuries and whiplash are frequent causes of imbalance, dizziness, and vertigo.

Balance and the Vestibular System

The part of the inner ear that is involved with balance is called the vestibular system. The vestibular system relays information to the brain about balance and orientation of the head and body. Balance is a complex interaction of our vestibular system, vision, and the sensation from our feet, muscles, and joints. If any one of these systems is not working properly, you will suffer loss of balance.

Balance Disorders

Balance disorders fall into three different categories:

  • Vertigo – The hallucination that the outside world is moving or spinning, which can last for seconds, minutes, or hours. Vertigo is typically accompanied by nystagmus (rapid movement of the eyes) and a feeling of motion sickness. Vertigo almost always originates somewhere in the vestibular system. Common causes of vertigo include BPPV, Meniere’s Disease, labyrinthitis, and vestibular migraine.
  • Dizziness – Feeling of light-headedness or wooziness that can occur when going from a laying to sitting position or a sitting to standing position. Patients may also describe their dizziness as feeling like they are floating or on a boat. Blood circulation disorders are a common cause of this condition.
  • Imbalance – Sensation of unsteadiness or lack of sure-footedness. Patients with this condition may have a history of falls inside or outside the home. Orthopedic issues and lack of muscular strength can lead to general imbalance.

Other causes of balance disorders:

  • Head injury
  • Aging
  • Certain medications

Many balance disorders, however, can begin suddenly with no obvious cause. Your physician may have referred you to our clinic to 1) help determine possible causes of your issues, and 2) propose treatment recommendations based on your condition.

Neurodiagnostic Testing

During your appointment, we will conduct assessments that evaluate hearing, posture, brainwave activity coming from the inner ears, and eye movement. Testing the function of these components helps us to understand which part of the balance system is impaired. Our tests use the most advanced technology on the market, and we make sure that our patients are comfortable during the evaluation and informed of what to expect on each assessment.

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