Can I have both dizziness and tinnitus at the same time?

Can I have both dizziness and tinnitus at the same time?

Great question! Let me break it down with the following blog. Hang with me as we have to define some concepts!

First, tinnitus:

Tinnitus is defined is the perception of sound in the absence of an acoustic external stimulus. To a person, this correlates to a bothersome auditory perception of noise.

There can be many reasons why an individual has these symptoms. A subtype of subjective tinnitus is called somatosensory tinnitus.

Second, Dizziness:

Dizziness can be a symptom of various diseases, some with sinister pathologies. These type of pathologies could be vascular or central and anyone having dizziness should seek out professional medical care.

However, there are benign causes of dizziness and these are considered peripheral vestibular diseases. The most common cause of dizziness and vertigo is peripheral vestibular disease including peripheral vestibular hypofunction, Meniere disease, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, also known as BPPV (van Vugt et al., 2017).

Occurrence of disorder in cervical region is also one of peripheral causes of the vertigo. This can be alongside the same pathophysiology as somatosensory tinnitus, which we call somatosensory dizziness. The more common diagnosis is called Cervicogenic Dizziness.

What does all of this mean?

It basically means that in the realm of tinnitus and dizziness symptoms, you can have the origin from the same place —- the cervical spine.

So, can I have dizziness and tinnitus at the same time?

The short answer, absolutely! Pathophysiologically, the cervical afferents can impact both nuclei in the central nervous system that then give rise to other neurological centers that give rise to an interruption in normal signal. The mismatch of information can cause your symptoms of tinnitus and dizziness.

Just like it is not uncommon for someone to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol that gives rise to heart disease —- it is not uncommon for a patient who has dizziness and tinnitus to have comorbid symptoms!

We see this everyday in our practice —- and quite honestly, we see most individuals who do have somatosensory tinnitus have not only dizziness or unsteadiness, but also TMJ and neck pain. This is why it is important to seek out individuals who are able to examine and treat all systems!

What can be done to help me?

The actual origin of the symptoms is best determined by a medical professional, but if you haven’t had a thorough cervical examination —- which is not uncommon if only seen ENTs — then this could be a part of your solution.

We find an evaluation of muscular disorder in cervical region seems to be necessary for assessment and treatment of dizziness and tinnitus symptoms. If the evaluation can show cause-effect, then great, there are solutions to these problems! If not and the evaluation rules out the cervical spine, this is helpful too and can move on!

Physical Therapists play a major role in the prescription of exercise for treatment of dizziness and vertigo conditions. We can examine the muscular and neural systems to figure out the source of symptoms (in this case, the neck / jaw / inner ear) and provide solutions of manual therapy , exercise and even vestibular therapy.

If you are looking for a physical therapist who specializes in these systems, feel free to contact us, click on one of our e-books above or sign up for an appointment to start your recovery!

Tinnitus Treatment
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