Contact us for all hearing related services in Southern Colorado including hearing aids, implants and tinnitus related solutions at (719) 633-1494.
What’s the connection between balance and hearing? Although hearing loss doesn’t specifically cause balance problems, some inner ear issues that lead to hearing loss can impact balance. Proper treatment of these issues can restore equilibrium and improve mobility.
What Systems Are Involved in Balance?
Balance is controlled by a combination of the vestibular system, one’s sense of eyesight, and the proprioceptive information to the musculoskeletal system. The vestibular system is found in the labyrinth of the inner ear, which contains several small, delicate organs that help regulate balance, including the otolithic organs and three semicircular canals. One of these sends the body signals about tilting motions, one sends signals about sideways motions, and one sends signals about up and down motion. These signals are regulated by environmental feedback gathered by the fluid and hair cells within the inner ear. Inner ear problems that affect balance include inner ear infection or blood circulation problems as well as tiny crystals floating in the semicircular canals.
What Are the Symptoms of Balance Issues?
Those who are affected by an issue with one of the factors influencing balance may experience the following symptoms:
- A floating feeling
- Confusion or disorientation
- Unsteady gait
- Blurry vision
- Panic or fear
- Feelings of depression or anxiety
When hearing loss is associated with a balance disorder, the person may also experience vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, or heart rate and blood pressure issues.
How Are Balance Disorders Treated?
Balance testing by an experienced audiologist can help determine the existence of a balance disorder. In most cases, the underlying medical problem affecting balance must be treated for these symptoms to be resolved. Some people benefit from a type of physical therapy called vestibular rehabilitation, which can help to restore balance.
At Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs, we will test your hearing and treat any problems that can affect balance. Book an appointment online or call (719) 633-1494 today to learn more about our services.
For those with hearing loss, hearing aids can be tremendously helpful. However, it may take some time for wearers to get used to how they function and learn how to address common issues. Basic troubleshooting tips can help resolve problems with minimal frustration.
Hearing Aids Aren’t Producing Sound
The first step is to make sure the hearing aid is turned on. They’re typically powered on when the battery door is closed, or when they have been removed from their charging case. If it’s powered on and still not making any sound, the hearing aid may require a new battery or ensure that they were placed into the charging case correctly. Commonly, wearers may also find it helpful to inspect the piece that goes into the ear for compacted ear wax or other debris.
Hearing Aids Are Making a Whistling Sound
While most newer hearing aids are efficient in canceling feedback, it can still present a problem from time to time. It most commonly occurs when the aid is not placed in the ear properly, the volume is up too high, or sound is trapped near the ear by a hat, scarf, or pillow pressing too closely against it. Additionally, extremely hard tubing that may have cracked could also be causing this issue. Lastly, the patient may have occluding wax in their ears which causes the sound being placed in the ear by the hearing aid to be reflected out of the ear canal and back into the hearing aid.
Hearing Aid Sound Quality Is Poor
When a patient is first fitted with a hearing aid, it takes several days for the brain to become accustomed to the boost in sound clarity and volume. After a few days, though, the volume may seem quieter or duller, as the brain gradually adjusts. In this case, an audiologist can help with readjusting volume as the patient acclimated to the new sound quality If a longtime wearer experiences this issue, it’s likely time for a new battery or to thoroughly clean the hearing aid paying special attention to the microphones and piece going into the ear
Hearing Aid Is Causing Ear Pain or Itchiness
Initial itching or tickling is normal, but hearing aids should not be painful. If two hearing aids are causing pain, it’s important to ensure they’re in the correct ears. Additionally, using hearing aid lubricant such as otoease or muricell when inserting the devices can prevent dry skin and irritation in the ear. If pain persists, an audiologist can modify the size, shape, and/or tubing of the hearing aid or earmold for increased comfort.
If you’re in need of new hearing aids or hearing aid maintenance in the Southern Colorado area, Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs can help! We’ve been providing personalized care in our community for over 35 years and assist our patients based on their preferences, lifestyles, and budgets. Contact us today at 719-633-1494 to book an appointment.
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