Hearing Loss and Vertigo:

Tying the Two Together

Vertigo is a feeling of dizziness or spinning, which can be caused by many different factors. One less discussed cause of vertigo is hearing loss. 

Vertigo is usually caused by a problem in the ear, but can also be due to problems related with balance and eye movement. It’s important that you see your doctor if vertigo episodes occur more often than every six months because it could indicate an underlying health issue like Meniere’s disease or vestibular neuritis.

Symptoms of Vertigo

Vertigo is usually triggered by a sudden change of head position.  For example, if you’re sitting up and then lay on your back or vice versa there can be a sudden spinning sensation.

People with vertigo often describe it as feeling of:

  • Spinning
  • Tilting
  • Swaying
  • Being pulled to one direction
  • Feeling nauseated

Other symptoms that may manifest during vertigo episodes include:

  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears or hearing loss

Symptoms can last a few minutes to a few hours or more and may come and go.

Sound sensitivity is also a symptom of vertigo. Those with this condition may find themselves very sensitive to any sound, especially loud or sudden noises that usually would not bother them at all . This can make hearing difficult and the person will have difficulty understanding speech when there are competing noise sources in their environment.

Some people experience full-fledged temporary deafness during episodes which lasts for hours before it subsides again as soon many other symptoms subside too.

Causes of Vertigo

Vertigo is often caused by an inner ear problem.

BBPVBenign paroxysmal positional vertigo occurs when particles called canaliths collect in the inner ear. These tiny particles serve to keep balance, but as they fill up and send mixed signals to the brain, one could lose the sense of balance all together.

Bilateral hearing loss can interfere with normal balance function.  When individuals do not hear their surrounds well they have less awareness for their surroundings.  This can create a sensation of being off-balance and presents a risk for falls.

EarwaxVertigo can also be triggered by earwax pushing against the eardrum or tympanic membrane. This can cause nausea and a sensation of moving even when one is in a stationary state.

Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disorder thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It can cause episodes of vertigo along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and/or hearing loss.

Migraine with vertigo. Migraines can also be accompanied by dizziness, which is known as migraine-associated vestibular dysfunction (MAVD). MVAD episodes are usually shorter and less severe than those for BPPV or Meniere’s disease but they may last up to two days at a time before going away completely .

Treatment for Vertigo

Treatment options for vertigo greatly depend on what is causing the problem.

In most cases, vertigo goes away on its own. The logic behind this is because the brain is able to adapt, at least partly, to inner ear changes, relying on other existing mechanisms to maintain balance.

Of course, this does not mean that vertigo can be taken mildly. Vertigo should not be ignored and should be referred to a medical professional for proper assessment.

Below are some of the treatments for vertigo:

Vestibular rehabilitation –  This is a type of therapy to strengthen the vestibular system, which helps send signals to the brain about head and body movements.

Vestibular rehabilitation may be recommended if you have recurring bouts of vertigo. It helps train your other senses in order to compensate for the dizziness that often accompanies a vertigo attack.

Medicine –  Medication may be given to relieve symptoms like nausea and motion sickness that accompany vertigo.

Help for Hearing Loss and Vertigo: When you notice that something is off with your hearing or balance, seek medical attention right away. Atlantic Hearing Care provides expert hearing care in Massachusetts. Call us today to schedule an appointment at any of our clinics in Swampscott and Peabody, Massachusetts.

The first step towards better hearing health is an appointment with our expert staff. Contact us today:

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990 Paradise Rd, Suite 3A
Swampscott, MA 01907


2 First Ave, Suite 127-1
Peabody, MA 01960


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