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Ear Problems and Dizziness

Rahul Thadani May 4, 2019
An ear disorder can cause dizziness to appear from time to time, and this can be very disruptive for the afflicted individual. One must visit a medical specialist as soon as possible and get to the bottom of the problem. Here, we will talk about the various causes and symptoms of this condition.
Ear problems and dizziness go hand in hand, because this is the feeling we get when our sense of balance is disoriented, and this sense of balance is regulated by the fluid that is present inside the ear. It is impossible to accurately describe the sensation uniformly for one and all.

Feeling Lightheaded or Dizzy

Also known as vertigo, dizziness occurs as a direct result of some ear disorders or infections. The vertigo that is felt can either be subjective (when the person feels he is spinning in space) or objective (when the person feels everything around him is spinning) in nature.
Many people often mistake lightheadedness for vertigo, but this is a totally different condition altogether. Lightheadedness occurs due to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain, but vertigo and dizziness are accompanied by ear pain, decreased hearing, and a ringing sensation in the ears.

Balance System in Human Body

Inner ear problems cause dizziness due to the nerve endings called labyrinth that are present in the inner ear regions. These are fluid-filled chambers, and they control the sense of balance of a human being. Any disorder in this area is known as labyrinthitis, and this adversely affects the balance of the individual.
Any kind of disturbance or inflammation in this area can result in dizziness and some other symptoms. Knowing the causes can also help you determine if the problem lies in the ear or elsewhere.

Causes of Dizziness Due to Ear Problems

The disorder can either be a viral infection or a bacterial infection. Viral infections usually arise as a result of an upper respiratory disorder, and this culminates in the feeling of dizziness on the second or third day of a cold or the flu.
A bacterial infection arises as the result of an acute middle ear infection (otitis media), which is also known as bacterial meningitis. In some cases, even a condition like tuberculosis or syphilis can cause a secondary bacterial infection in the ear.
If the problem is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, this is a problem in the inner ear that is causing this reaction. A doctor will analyze all the factors and arrive at a logical conclusion about the source of the dizziness and the vertigo. Some tests will be necessary in order to determine if the problem originates in the labyrinth of the ear canal.
More possible causes of ear problems and dizziness are:
  • Acoustic Neuroma: The presence of a tumor on the nerve which connects the inner ear canal to the brain can cause vertigo recurringly.
  • Meniere's Disease: A disease where repeated attacks of vertigo damage the individuals inner ear channels permanently, thus leading to dizziness and a loss of balance.
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): Any problems occurring in the vestibular region of the inner ear can be categorized here.
  • Ototoxicity: If an individual is exposed to, or ingests, some particular substance which damages the nerves in the ear and the auditory system, it falls under ototoxicity.
  • Peripheral Fistula: This occurs when the fluid from the inner ear leaks out to the middle portion due to an external blow or trauma.
  • Vascular Vertigo: This occurs when the blood supply to the inner ear gets disrupted. This will occur in people who smoke too much, exercise too little, are overweight, and have high blood pressure.
Almost all these conditions will display similar symptoms because they affect the same region, so the information that the doctor gathers becomes far more important in order to determine the root cause.
Once the cause has been pinpointed, specific treatments and solutions can be adopted to deal with it. You must strictly follow the advice of the doctor in order to recover completely.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.