Why Balance Awareness Week matters
with Howard Mango Au.D., Ph.D.
Yes, Balance Awareness Week matters to me. Hopefully, it matters to you too.
If you suffer from dizziness, vertigo or a balance disorder – or know someone who does – you are likely aware that it’s a journey from diagnosis to treatment to recovery.
Balance has a central purpose in our lives. Balance is our ability to maintain control of our body’s position with minimal postural sway. And our ears serve as ‘ground control’. The inner ear is the part of the ear that houses organs that help in hearing, but also maintain our balance. When we move effortlessly through different activities, balance is our ability to control our body’s position. By human nature, we look forward (literally and figuratively), many times going from task to task. So we don’t often spend much timing thinking about the importance of our balance until something happens.
All of a sudden something’s ‘not quite right’. And difficulties begin. When balance is impaired, it takes a toll on our body and mind. It’s tiring, and it can be dangerous. It can feel like we are defying gravity. Or gravity is defying us. Either way, it is life-changing. It can profoundly impact daily activities and cause financial, psychological and emotional hardship.
And then the descriptions begin – words like ‘dizzy’, ‘vertigo-like’, ‘unstable’, ‘floating’, ‘feeling disoriented’ and other challenges that may come along with it. I’ve heard so many words, and each journey is unique.
Statistics show that more than four out of 10 Americans, at some time in their lives, will experience an episode of dizziness significant enough to send them to a doctor. Doctors of audiology, also known as audiologists, are ideal partners in your balance health. Many people may incorrectly assume audiologists only address hearing loss and solutions. However audiologists are trained in balance as well as hearing health. We work closely with medical doctors and physicians.
As doctors of audiology, we play an important role in evaluating, diagnosing and treating balance disorders. Many are caused by a problem in the inner ear, affecting the body’s vestibular system. Our clinical staff are highly-qualified vestibular physiologists; they understand how the body’s sensory systems work in tandem with each other from head to toe. They perform vestibular testing. Our doctors of audiology conduct research studies, and use state of-the-art diagnostic tools and protocols. We provide patients direct access to Advanced Vestibular Treatment™ (AVT) that our doctors solely direct. AVT targets and treats specific problematic areas within the visual, somatosensory and vestibular systems, rather than treat the vestibular system alone.
Our clinical team shares a passion, specialty and strength that happen to center around dizziness, vertigo and balance disorders.
I have been a long-time member of the Vestibular Disorders Association, and I’m happy to support VEDA in their advocacy and support of Balance Awareness Week. Our Institute shares the same goal– to reduce the time it takes to diagnose a vestibular disorder, and to get our patients steadily back on their feet with confidence.
I believe Balance Awareness Week matters, and I encourage you to learn more about vestibular disorders. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, Linkedin updates, and my tweets to stay connected.
Thanks for reading and sharing,