Fixing balance problems without surgery. That's our topic today on Ask the Hearing Doctors.
Hi, I'm Dr. Linda Himler with the Hearing Doctors. We’re the highest rated audiology practice in the Washington, D.C. area with over 1500, 5-star reviews. I'm here today with Dr. Richard Gans. Welcome.
Thank you, Dr. Himler.
You're very welcome. We’re looking to find out what the non-surgical, non-medical options are available for people with balance disorders?
That's a great question. And most patients are really, really happy to learn that 95% of folks that go through testing are not going to need medicine, and they're not going to need surgery. Most of these conditions are kind of chronic, chronic, debilitating type of issues. And the good news is that the number one cause of vertigo is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
Benign. It's not cancer. It's not a tumor paroxysmal. That happens quick positional. It occurs when I roll over a bed, when I change my position, when I look up. And vertigo, of course, is the hallucinate vision that the world is spinning around you. Right. So, the house isn't really spinning, but to you, it feels like it is. Now, the treatment for that is called canalith repositioning.
So, if you've ever used an egg timer and you think about the sand inside an egg timer, what basically happens is in the sand filled basement, if you will, of part of the balance system of the inner ear that actually is filled with sand. The sand can migrate and find its way into some of the other areas. And when it does, you're fine, so long as you don't lay flat, roll over on your side, look up.
So, what we do with a canalith repositioning maneuver takes less than 5 minutes. Is simply lay the patient down and move their head in a very simple sequential manner so that the sand, like the sand in an egg timer, can go back where it's supposed to be. Within usually 24 hours unless you have a vitamin D deficiency. Right. Your body will be able to absorb that and you'll be able to go back about your normal business.
For other patients they may have or need vestibular rehabilitation. So, folks that have had an inner ear infection, shingles, chemotherapy, cisplatin therapy. It may change the function or the electrical activity of the balance portion of the inner ear. Now, these people can also be trained to recover normal balance function, but this usually requires a specially trained physical or occupational therapist.
Now, the good news is it's part of the network, right? Hearing Doctors is going to be connected to the largest network of AIB certified physical and occupational therapist. So once your testing is complete, if it's not a medical or surgical issue, remember 95% aren’t, you'll be able to refer them to part of this network. There's over 5000 trained therapists and patients can recover their function and basically get their lives back.
That's brilliant. That's all in our local area.
Right. Very good. Thank you, Dr. Gans.
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