Three Interesting Facts About Balance and Dizziness

Although Balance Awareness Week has come to a close, September is still Vestibular Awareness Month and Arizona Balance & Hearing Aids is committed to raising as much awareness as possible about balance, dizziness and vestibular disorders throughout the entire month.

In a previous post, we overviewed what vestibular disorders are, and the festivities and fundraisers surrounding Balance Awareness Week. We also added new and in-depth information on symptoms, types, and causes of vestibular disorders on our page dedicated to the issue.

This week, we have decided to outline 3 interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about balance, dizziness, and vestibular disorders.

1. Your Ears Control Your Blood Flow

You read that right. We’ve learned from previous posts that our vestibular (or balance) system is made up of three semi-circle canals that lie within the “labyrinth” of our inner ear. Each of these three semi-circles are positioned at different angles and contain a liquid called endolymph. The movement of this liquid as we walk, swim, lie down or swing sends signals to our brain as to where we are within our physical environment – and thus helps us to keep our balance and refrain from dizziness.

Did you know that the movement of endolymph in our inner ear also sends signals to the part of our brain that controls blood flow? For example, when you move from lying down to standing, these signals trigger your brain to compensate for this change, and send blood to the appropriate areas of your body that won’t automatically get blood due to gravity. When our vestibular system isn’t working correctly, this can also trigger changes and issues with our blood flow.

2. The Most Common Type of Vestibular Disorder is Very Easily Treatable

As health care professionals, it is always exciting when we can tell patients that treatment for their concerns is quick, non-invasive, painless and effective. Luckily for doctors that treat vestibular disorders, this most often the case when the cause for patients’ dizziness is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or (BPPV).

BPPV is the reason for approximately 50% of cases of dizziness in older adults. BPPV is caused by some pieces of calcium carbonate crystals or (otoconia) becoming dislodged and migrating into the three semicircle canals within the labyrinth of our inner ear. Treatment is quick and painless, and at AZ Balance and Hearing Aids will be treated the same day. We simply move your head in painless but extremely carefully calculated positions to move the crystals back into their correct locations. Typically, this simple correction alleviates the symptoms of BPPV.

3. Your Diet or a Vitamin Deficiency May be Making you Dizzy

There are many health concerns that we may automatically attribute to diet – but dizziness isn’t typically one of them. However, dieting and dehydration are leading causes of dizziness. It is recommended that adults drink about 8 glasses of water in an 8-ounce container per day. Considering the busy lifestyle most Americans live, consuming this much water typically takes effort. A chronically dehydrated person may not even notice that they are dehydrated, however, it may be the reason you are feeling dizzy. Follow the 8×8 rule for a few weeks to see if some of your symptoms of dizziness correct themselves.

A deficiency of vitamin B-12 can also cause dizziness. According to the CDC, about 3% of adults over the age of 51 have a vitamin B-12 deficiency. B-12 can be found in supplement form in many grocery stores or pharmacies and can also be found in foods such as meat and dairy products. Vitamin B-12 also increases energy levels – an added bonus we could all use from time to time!

If you feel concerned about balance issues or dizziness in yourself or a loved one, contact us at AZ Balance & Hearing Aids. We are experts in the area of vestibular disorders and our friendly team is eager to take care of you. Remember, September holds Balance Awareness Week – so what better time than now to seek help for your balance concerns?