Severe damage to both inner ears can cause mild dizziness, moderate imbalance and severe difficulty with vision. Bilateral vestibulopathy is the technical name for this problem; bilateral indicates that the process affects both ears, and vestibulopathy is a general term referring to disease of the vestibular system. The process can also be acute, meaning thatContinue reading “Damage to both ears”
There are many viruses that are attracted to nervous tissue (neurotropic) and so can attack the brain and nerves. The inner ears are each served by nerves that exit directly from the brain, and so can be affected by viruses that cause brain inflammation (encephalitis), and infection of the lining of the brain (meningitis). ThereContinue reading “Vestibular neuritis: Viruses that damage balance”
There are many rare diseases that cause dizziness. Although they are not frequent, they have unusual groups of symptoms that can help make your diagnosis clear. Behçet’s syndrome is type of vasculitis –inflammation of the blood vessels. This kind of inflammation can damage many different parts of the body. Dizziness is a frequent symptom, occurringContinue reading “Something rare: Behçet’s Syndrome”
Viruses can damage the inner ear, usually by causing swelling or direct infection of the nerve leading to the ear. Some viruses are especially attracted to nervous tissue, and these are the ones most likely to lead to this kind of damage. There are many of these. Enteroviruses—viruses that inhabit the bowels and are passedContinue reading “What causes sudden inner ear damage?”
When an inner ear suddenly stops working, the first sign is seeing the room spin. There’s another sign that is also very annoying and unsettling—the world can appear to shift in a blur when turning your head quickly. Usually this just happens when you turn toward the bad ear. If both ears are not working,Continue reading “Blink Turns: An exercise to tame blurred vision”
Sudden damage to one inner ear causes severe dizziness and can also cause imbalance and difficulty with focusing the eyes. Unilateral vestibulopathy is the technical name for this problem; unilateral indicates that the process affects one ear, and vestibulopathy is a general term referring to disease of the vestibular system. The process is acute, meaningContinue reading “Sudden inner ear damage”
Intoxication with drugs that affect the vestibular system can cause dizziness and imbalance. There is often nystagmus, abnormal jerking eye movements that indicate that the vestibular system is not working properly. Usually there is also a tendency to stagger when walking, called ataxia. Most of these drugs affect the cerebellum of the brain, a partContinue reading “Drugs and dizziness”
It turns out that alcohol is much less dense than the fluid of the inner ear. If you drink a lot of alcohol over a short period of time, it can enter the cupula quickly through the bloodstream. This lightens the cupula fairly quickly, in as little as 30 minutes. The inner ear fluids don’tContinue reading “Stopping the spins”
We all know drinking alcohol affects the brain, starting with feeling tipsy. If you’ve ever had a lot to drink in one sitting (remember that 21st birthday party?) you might have noticed another effect. Drinking too much too fast can cause vertigo that becomes intense when you lie down. This effect, called the spins, spinners,Continue reading “Why does alcohol give me the spins?”
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