Understanding Ear Balance And Treatments To Maintain The Ear Balance

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Do you experience vertigo often? You should get it checked out as it might indicate an underlying condition in your ear. Many times when we get a head rush from a sudden movement, this indicates a sign of miscommunication between the brain and other sensory organs. The ear being an important part of the vestibular system plays a critical role in maintaining the balance of the body.

Inner ear balance is a medical term that defines the neck and head movement. In this blog, we are going to understand how the inner ear balance works, what it can cause, and how can you treat them.

Mechanism Of Inner Ear Balance

After the middle ear comes to the inner ear, which has a labyrinth that maintains the balance in the body. Here you can find three semicircular canals interconnected and adjoining to the cochlea, which is responsible for hearing.

These semicircular canals are responsible for sensing a specific head motion. The fluid contained in these canals is displaced when the head movement occurs and the nerve signals are sent to the brain informing which direction the head just turned.

The posterior semicircular canal sends the signal when the head tilts down towards the shoulder. The superior semicircular canal informs when the head moves up and down in a “Yes” motion. Now, the lateral semicircular canal indicates the “No” motion to the brain when you move your head from side to side.

Otolith, an organ diagonally below the semicircular canals is responsible for sensing acceleration, fall, or brake. It contains ear crystals or ear rocks and also has fluid in it which is displaced when there is a commotion around the surroundings. This displacement of the fluid sends a message to the brain and then the brain transfers the message to the rest of the organs on balancing the body.

Consequences Of Imbalance In Inner Ear

When there is a miscommunication between the ear and the brain, your body balance is at risk and can result in acute or chronic neurotic conditions.

Consequences Of Imbalance In Inner Ear

This can include:

✅ Vertigo

The medical term for this condition is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or (BPPV). The symptoms of this condition are feeling dizzy or a sudden spinning spell every time you change your positions. It is common in older people and can be managed by physical therapy and treatments.

✅ Meniere’s Disease

This is caused when there is fluid build-up in the inner ear that causes vertigo and ringing in your ears, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in your ear. This condition is again treated by medication, surgery, and altering lifestyle.

✅ Vestibular Neuritis 

This is a condition where your inner ear becomes affected by a virus and the vestibular nerve swells up. With the swelling, the messages sent from the ear to the brain are thrown off, which makes one feel confused. There are symptoms like dizziness, nausea, keeping themselves straight, or difficulty concentrating with this condition. 

Treatment Of Inner Ear Balance Conditions

After proper diagnosis of your ear condition, your healthcare provider may recommend you following treatments to reduce the symptoms of vertigo.

✅ Medications

If you are suffering from mild dizziness because of an infection in your inner ear, then medication will be able to help you. You will also be asked to make some changes to your diet and intake of low-sodium meals.

✅ Injection

This is an invasive treatment where the affected ear is injected with antibiotics to fight off the infection. In the meantime, the other ear takes over the balance function.

✅ Therapy

Based on the condition, you will be given balance therapy and head position maneuvers. It involves neck exercises and head positioning according to the symptoms of vertigo. These therapies can be conducted by both a doctor and a therapist.

✅ Surgery

This is the last resort as a treatment for maintaining inner ear balance. The procedure will involve removing the vestibular labyrinth from the affected ear. After this surgery, only one ear will be responsible for the balance function in the body.

Conclusion

The inner ear balance is important to keep your head and body in line. You can avoid these issues by simply practicing mindfulness, and hygiene, and using earphones for an extended period. Exercising regularly, getting sufficient sleep, and eating a healthy diet will also do good for your ear health.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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