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acoustic neuroma

Acoustic Neuroma

An acoustic neuroma (also known as vestibular schwannoma) is a benign (nonmalignant), usually slow-growing tumor that develops from the balance and hearing nerves supplying the inner ear. The tumor comes from an overproduction of Schwann

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Types of Vestibular Disorders

“Vestibular disorder” is an umbrella term used to encompass many different conditions that affect the inner ear and those parts of the central nervous system involved in maintaining balance.

Vestibular disorders can result from or be worsened by injuries, genetic or environmental conditions, or occur for unknown reasons. There are more than twenty-five known vestibular disorders. Each is unique, but many share common diagnostic traits, which can make it difficult for healthcare professionals to easily differentiate them.

The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, and secondary endolymphatic hydrops. Vestibular disorders also include superior semicircular canal dehiscence, acoustic neuroma, perilymph fistula, ototoxicity, enlarged vestibular aqueduct, migraine-associated vertigo, and Mal de Sébarquement. Other problems related to vestibular dysfunction include complications from aging, autoimmune disorders, and allergies.

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Tinnitus

Tinnitus is abnormal noise perceived in one or both ears or in the head. Tinnitus (pronounced either “TIN-uh-tus” or “tin-NY-tus”) may be intermittent, or it might appear as a constant or continuous sound. It can be experienced as a ringing, hissing, whistling, buzzing, or clicking sound and can vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal.

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Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium are common symptoms reported by adults during visits to their doctors. They are all symptoms that can result from a peripheral vestibular disorder (a dysfunction of the balance organs of the inner ear) or central vestibular disorder (a dysfunction of one or more parts of the central nervous system that help process balance and spatial information). Although these three symptoms can be linked by a common cause, they have different meanings, and describing them accurately can mean the difference between a successful diagnosis and one that is missed.

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Natural Supplements for Vestibular Disorders

Patients with vestibular disorders may choose to incorporate supplements into their treatment plan, either to support their prescription medications or as non-pharmaceutical alternatives that can help reduce their symptoms and improve their overall wellness. Many

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Tests For Diagnosing Vestibular Disorders

The inner ear’s vestibular organs and the associated nerves and brain centers form a complex system that serves many functions and can be affected by a number of outside systems. A thorough evaluation of the inner ear may therefore require several different kinds of tests.

Doctors use information from a person’s medical history and findings from a physical examination as a basis for ordering diagnostic tests to assess the vestibular system function and to rule out alternative causes of symptoms. Most people tolerate these tests well. However, sometimes the tests are fatiguing and can result in temporary unsteadiness.

Some diagnostic tests may include:
– Electro/Video-nystagmomography (ENG/VNG)
– Rotation tests
– Video Head Impulse Test (vHIT)
– Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMP)
– Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP)
– Audiometry (hearing tests)
– Otoacoustic Emission (OAE)
– Electrocochleography (ECog)
– Auditory Brainstem Response Test (ABR)
– Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
– Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT/CT)
– Other tests may include blood work, allergy tests, and vision tests

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About Vestibular Disorders

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these processing areas, disorders of dizziness or balance can result. Vestibular disorders can also result from, or be worsened by, genetic or environmental conditions, or occur for unknown reasons.

The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include:
– Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
– Vestibular migraine
– Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis
– Ménière’s disease
– Age-related dizziness & imbalance
– Vestibular damage due to head injury

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External Resources

VeDA provides links to other websites that may be useful for vestibular patients and professionals as a courtesy. If you know of a resource you think would be useful to add, email us at [email protected]

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Surgical Procedures for Vestibular Dysfunction

When is surgery necessary? When medical treatment isn't effective in controlling vertigo and other symptoms caused by vestibular system dysfunction, surgery may be considered. The type of surgery performed depends upon each individual's diagnosis and

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What is Vestibular?

EXPLORE VESTIBULAR DISORDERS & SYMPTOMS The Glossary The Glossary provides definitions and information about terms you may come across in your research on vestibular disorders. You can use this resource to search for specific terms

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Hormones

There is increasing evidence on how sex hormones affect the inner ear. Many women report that hormonal fluctuations can trigger their vestibular symptoms. More research needs to be done to conclusively show a connection between hormonal changes and vestibular dysfunction, and until then there are few treatment options available.

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