A Client’s story: Hearing, Balance and Vertigo
One of our audiologists Liam talks about his dizzy patient. Mrs. C has a dizziness problem. Shortly after her ear feels blocked up and she hears a roaring sound in her ear, her hearing suddenly drops and the room begins to spin. She has to immediately stop what she’s doing and lie down - otherwise she will fall over. Sometimes she vomits.
Mrs. C saw me today for a hearing test after consulting with her GP. She has had a rough time, lately. Her hearing test showed that her left ear hears very well, but her right ear has a hearing loss. The testing that I performed, as well as her symptoms and the description of her dizziness, led me to believe that she may have Meniere’s disease in her right ear.
The hearing and balance organs are both contained in the inner ear. The balance or vestibular system in conjunction with the eyes and proprioceptors (sensors that provide information about joints and muscles) across the body give us information of where our body is in space and keep us balanced as we move, walk, do cartwheels or whatever.
Meniere’s disease is a chronic, often debilitating, illness that causes hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear), a feeling of fullness in the ear and vertigo (the sensation of the room spinning). Its cause is unknown and treatment can vary from patient to patient.
I wrote a report to Mrs. C’s GP, who will arrange for an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist to investigate the issue further. If after medical treatment, she still has trouble hearing, we can fit a hearing aid. Fitting a hearing aid to people who have one ear with good hearing and another ear with hearing loss can be challenging, but for many people we can provide them with the ability to hear someone speaking on their ‘bad side’ and give them a sense of sound coming from both sides.
I was pleased that I helped her to diagnose her issue and helped guide her on the road to recovery.
Liam has Masters of Clinical Audiology and is an Audiology Australia Accredited Audiologist. Liam works at our Sunshine, Fitzroy and Werribee hearing centres.