Vertigo, dizziness and unsteady balance: When is it time for Balance PT?

By Anthony Curtis, PT

Dizziness, unsteady balance, and vertigo can be scary. Patients who experience a sudden or gradual onset of symptoms such as lightheadedness or wobbliness may worry about the underlying cause of their disorientation. Here we will discuss common causes, when to seek medical attention, and what you can expect from a visit to Virginia ENT.

Summertime Ear Pain: Swimmer’s Ear or Ear Infection?

The season of sunshine and fun is here. Summer means pool parties, evenings on the lake and beachfront getaways. When annoying ear pain gets in the way of all the festivities, many are quick to assume it’s a case of swimmer’s ear. Often, that is an accurate diagnosis, but if ear discomfort coincides with summertime allergies or a cold, an ear infection could be a culprit.

Inner Ear Crystals and BPPV

I Have Crystals In My Ears?

As strange as it seems, everyone has microscopic crystals residing in their inner ears. These crystals are called Otoconia and are found in the Otolith organs, which are two pouches inside the vestibular system that are filled with fluid. The pouches are lined with small hairs and the small hairs are lined with the Otoconia. When the head tilts, the crystals attached to the hairs move through the ear fluid and send nerve signals to the brain. 

Ear Pain Isn’t Always About Your Ear: 3 Other Causes

In many cases, ear pain is caused by an infection of the ear canal. But did you know some ear pain may not be connected to ear-related problems at all? Many of these problems require a physician's knowledge to distinguish one problem from another. But here are a few other causes of ear pain you may not know about.

Where to Get a Hearing Test in Richmond, VA

Here in Richmond, Virginia, there are several different resources for obtaining a hearing test, but the best place to go depends on your objectives in obtaining the hearing test. Here’s a review of the different types of hearing tests offered.

4 Surprising Reasons Your Ears May Feel Clogged

Is your clogged ear just annoying, or might it be the symptom of another problem?

One of the trickier aspects of diagnosing this particular ear problem is the variety of reasons a patient may feel a clogged sensation in the ear. Common causes include colds, sinus infections, wax build-up, water in the ear, altitude changes, hearing loss, jaw problems, and more.

I'm Dizzy - Understanding BPPV and Vertigo

Many people will suffer an episode of mild vertigo in their lives: a moment of dizziness or disorientation that passes in a few minutes. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about. For some, however, this condition can be ongoing, inconvenient, and even dangerous. Vertigo, and its many forms, is not life-threatening by itself, but can create difficulties with mobility and daily life.

Is Ear Pressure A Sign of An Ear Infection or Something Else?

It can sometimes be challenging to determine the exact cause of ear pressure. It could be from a sinus infection or an ear infection. But in some cases, ear pressure could also be caused by hearing loss.

It's important to diagnose the correct cause of the ear pressure, as the potential treatment options are vastly different.

Protecting Your Ears and Hearing In The Summer Months

Summer is officially here, and along with it comes higher temperatures, sunny days, and fun in the sun, sand, surf, and sound! While you’re having fun this summer, remember to keep your ears and your hearing safe and protected.

Ear Infection or Sinus Infection? Treating Your Symptoms Quickly

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether you are experiencing an ear infection or a sinus infection because of the similarities in symptoms. Both diagnoses involve significant pressure or pain in the head/neck area and both infections may trigger a fever response in your body.

So, why is it important to know whether you’re suffering from a sinus infection or an ear infection? Because the treatment option selected will only be effective if you have the right diagnosis.

Frequently Asked Questions about Scheduling ENT Surgery

If you’re faced with an upcoming surgery, details like health insurance may be the last thing on your mind. Nonetheless, understanding your health insurance coverage is important. There can be a lot of information to process - so figuring out which details apply to you under what circumstances can sometimes be overwhelming.

Below are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about health insurance and your upcoming surgery at Virginia Ear Nose & Throat.

9 Myths About Ear Infections in Children

Ear infections are often caused by fluid that is trapped in a child’s middle ear. This is a common problem in young children.  Fluid build-up comes from poor Eustachian tube function. The Eustachian tube runs from the back of the nose to the middle ear. That’s how the middle ear ventilates. A child’s Eustachian tube is not fully formed. As a result, it has a hard time getting air into the middle ear space. As the air goes back into the body, the air isn’t replaced and it causes negative pressure in the middle ear. That causes fluid to build up.

The Concerned Parent’s Guide to Ear Tubes

If your child has persistent ear infections or has trouble hearing associated with frequent or chronic ear infections, your pediatrician might suggest seeing an ENT physician for ear tubes. Imagining your child needing any kind of procedure can be scary if you don’t understand the benefits. Understanding what ear tubes are, how they are inserted, what they do and how they can benefit your child is important in feeling comfortable with this simple and effective treatment.

5 Tips for Safer Earwax Removal

Earwax, or cerumen, is a fatty substance produced by glands inside the ear that is often thought to clean, lubricate, and protect the lining of your ear. Earwax doesn't cause problems, but if it builds up, it can create obstructions in the ear canal; these obstructions are one of the most common problems ear, nose and throat (ENT) physicians see.

Why Are My Ears Draining?

Otorrhea is a term that refers to any fluid that comes out of the ear. Normal ear discharge includes water that comes out after exiting a pool or shower, and earwax. Earwax exists to protect your ear from dust and other foreign objects that can cause bacteria to build up. Drainage of water or earwax is classified as spontaneous drainage and is not a cause for concern. However, there are some forms of ear drainage that could indicate a bigger issue. Let’s take a closer look at why your ears may be draining.

7 Common Misconceptions About Choosing Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are lighter, smaller and more effective than ever before, yet many people don't wear them because misconceptions have kept them from experiencing their benefits. Here are seven hearing aid misconceptions, along with the facts to dispute them.

Reasons Your Baby Might Get an Ear Infection

As a parent, it can cause great stress knowing your child is sick and not knowing how to soothe him/her. It is especially frightening when your child is not old enough to tell you what hurts. Ear infections are common in children from infancy until age 2 or 3, because their Eustachian tubes are not yet fully formed. In an adult, the Eustachian tube is hard and curved, and works to improve airflow to the middle ear to reduce fluid buildup. In a young child, the Eustachian tube is long and floppy, and is more prone to infection because of that fluid. There are factors that can increase a child’s likelihood of developing an ear infection. Let’s look at the symptoms and some possible causes.

10 Possible Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be separated into three main types. Sensorineural hearing loss comes from the inner ear and its pathways to the brain. Conductive hearing loss is related to poor sound transmission. Sounds do not get to the inner ear in an efficient way. Finally, there is a mixed type of hearing loss that has components of both. Conductive hearing loss is usually the easier of the three to correct with some sort of medical or surgical intervention. In order to effectively treat conductive hearing loss, it’s important to understand the structure of the ear and the possible causes of conductive hearing loss to determine the best method of correction.