You’ve learned to cope with the ringing in your ears, but you notice yourself losing your balance more frequently. Before you panic, it’s essential to know that vertigo-like symptoms often accompany tinnitus and other hearing problems.
It’s equally important to know there are steps you can take to reduce symptoms for both conditions.
Your Ears Do More Than Hear
Aside from transmitting sound signals to your brain, your ears are also responsible for maintaining balance due to the vestibular and cochlear nerves in your ears.
The vestibular nerve transmits sensory information to your brain to register your body position and adjust your balance. Cochlear nerves carry auditory information from your inner ear to your brain. These nerves really on hair cells in the ear to function, and if one system is off-kilter, the other is also affected.
Meniere’s disease is often classified as a cause for tinnitus and is a result of increased pressure in the inner ear. Symptoms of Meniere’s include:
- Hearing loss
- Pressure or “fullness” in the ears
The endolymph fluid in your ears is responsible for stimulating hair cells that send signals to your brain. Meniere’s causes an increase in the fluid that stimulates hair cells even when there are no real stimuli and causes balance and hearing issues.
What You Can Do
Although both conditions involve nervous system impairments, there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms.
Change your diet: Foods high in sodium have been linked to tinnitus and vertigo as they constrict blood vessels, affecting blood flow to your ears. Caffeine and alcohol are also common triggers, so reduce or eliminate them from your diet.
Lifestyle: Physical activity will help you strengthen your balance and maintain healthy blood flow that can reduce tinnitus symptoms. Avoid loud environments that can trigger tinnitus or vertigo episodes.
Meds: Anti-vertigo and vasodilation medications can help support blood flow to blood vessels that can alleviate tinnitus and vertigo symptoms. Some medications can exacerbate both conditions, so consult your physician to verify that your medicine is not a contributing factor.
Visit an audiologist: Audiologists can prescribe aural rehab or hearing aids that can treat tinnitus symptoms. Sound therapies in hearing aids can also block the ringing caused by tinnitus.
Hearing Associates can work with you to treat your vertigo and tinnitus symptoms. Call us at 888.760.2032 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.