How The Ear Works

Normal Hearing Function

  • Sound is transmitted through the air as sound waves and are gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.
  • The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, which sets the three tiny bones in the middle ear into motion.
  • The motion of the three bones causes the fluid in the inner ear, or cochlea, to move.
  • The movement of the fluid in the inner ear causes the hair cells in the cochlea to bend. The hair cells change the movement into electrical impulses.
  • These electrical impulses are transmitted to the auditory nerve and up to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.

Any disturbance in this natural hearing function can cause a variety of hearing complications, including:

  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Balance issues
  • Dizziness

Vestibular/Balance Assessment

Your doctor should rule out other conditions that may be causing your vertigo, imbalance, lightheadedness, or dizziness such as blood pressure, medications, heart/vascular conditions, etc. We do not test general balance which is typically tested by a physical therapist.

The Inner Ear

This test takes about 2-3 hours. You will be wearing goggles, moving into different positions, and water of different temperatures will be placed into the ear canals. Testing will allow the audiologist to better determine the cause of your vertigo (true spinning) or dizziness.

Treatment Options

We can treat certain types of vertigo. However, you will be referred to another specialist (Neurologist, Cardiologist, Otolaryngologist or Physical Therapist) for treatment if needed.

Education is power. Take control of your hearing health.

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