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Your Healthy Family: The connection between your eyes, ears and balance.

Posted at 2:42 PM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 07:46:34-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — If you have dizziness issues and are having trouble tracking down why it’s happening, you may want to check with a hearing specialist.

Dr. Michael Iliff, a doctor of audiology with Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs says, “I think the first question someone would ask is, why is an audiologist who deals with hearing, someone who deals with balance? Your hearing system consists of not only how you hear but also your balance system, they are tied very closely together. You have your cochlea, which is your organ of hearing, which is also tied in with your organ of balance.”

Dr. Iliff says vertigo isn't the only problem with balance and feeling dizzy someone may experience. “We are talking about people who might get up in the morning, roll over and they feel dizzy. They might feel dizzy for a few minutes or they might feel dizzy for hours and it can be debilitating. Also, unsteady people or even elderly individuals who are more at risk for falls, these are the kinds of patients we are treating.”

Dr. Iliff also says another key to figuring out the root of problems with balance also involves your eyes. “We look at the whole vestibular system, and part of that is how your eyes move in relation to different tests that we do."

Solving the mystery of where balance problems are rooted begins with a spin in a specially designed rotary chair, wearing goggles with cameras that track your eye movement, and it's all tied into a computer. Dr. Iliff explains, “We are one of the only clinics in Colorado that has a rotary chair that allows us to do certain tests. The eyes coordinate and respond with the testing done in this chair. As the chair is rotating, we are looking at the eyes and their response. As the chair moves a certain direction, the eyes beat in a certain direction, and that gives us an idea as to what is happening. It lets us pinpoint why someone is off balance and make the appropriate referral. We can treat it in house if it's something more simple. If it's a more complex issue, maybe somebody needs some physical therapy and we refer them out to a balance center, or we might refer them out to a neurologist if it's something more complex that we find."

For more information diagnosing balance problems, or if you have questions about issues you are having with your balance feel free to reach out to Dr. Iliff and his staff at Hearing Consultants or Colorado Springs by visiting their website (HERE) or you can call them at (719) 633-1494.

Hearing Consultants of Colorado Springs is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family