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Balance Evaluation - Audiology

Underlying Problem Requiring Balance Evaluation:
Balance evaluation is often done as part of an audiology exam. This is because balance is controlled by our visual system, our kinesthetic system, and the inner ear. All three of these systems must cooperate in order for an individual to maintain proper balance. Those who are experiencing dizziness may need to have their inner ears checked to determine if this is contributing to the problem.

Treatment:

In order to do a balance evaluation, an audiology clinic will assess the vestibular, or balance, system. This is done by stimulating the system. The evaluation will generally begin with a case history, during which the patient will be asked about his or her background and experiences as they relate to hearing and dizziness. This is followed by one or more tests. These might include a saccades and tracking test in which the patient is asked to do a number of tasks such as following lights with his or her eyes. A position and modified hallpike test will require the patient to lie on his or her side and back. Calorics may also be performed in which water or air is introduced to the ear.

Recovery from Balance Evaluation:

The tests performed as part of a balance evaluation are generally non-invasive and won\'t require any significant recovery. The audiology clinic will inform patients of any particular measures that should be taken once the evaluation is complete.

There are several reasons that a person may be referred to have a balance evaluation:
  • Nystagmus
  • Vertigo
  • Gait Abnormalities
  • Meniere\'s Disease
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Head Trauma

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