You are here:

Audiology/Otolaryngology/buzzing head and unbalanced walking


I had asked earlier a question about my mother's deafness. my mother has also problem with her buzzing head and unbalanced walking. she used to have buzzing head before the deafness began. she had been treated with different medicines until now for two years but seems ineffective. what may be the cause and remedy of the problem?

Hello again,
As you may or may not know, the inner ear provides head movement information to the brain as part of the overall balance system.  For whatever the reason(s) that your mother lost hearing, the overall inner ear function may have declined with it--along with the balance part (vestibular system).

General imbalance and unsteadiness is more likely to be a result of overall poor vestibular function, while episodes of brief dizziness that "pass" may be something else.  Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by free floating particles in the canals of the inner ear and usually cause brief bursts of vertigo/dizziness following head position change.  Another one is related to blood pressure changes from sitting to standing (orthostatic).  All of these possibilities and more can be tested. Treatment depends on the cause. This is another area where audiologists, physicians, and other professionals can work together to help your mother.  Unfortunately, sometimes "dizziness" is treated generally by medications that act as vestibular suppressants and do nothing to treat the cause and can actually make things worse by decreasing the function (temporarily) of the vestibular system further.  BPPV, for example, should never be treated with meds, but rather repositioning therapy.  In some cases, where vestibular function is lost, it will not recover, so the treatment should focus on therapy to strengthen and compensate and the use of assistive devices (such as walkers).  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. Clint D. Keifer, Audiologist


I am qualified to answer all questions related to the diagnosis and rehabilitative treatment of hearing and balance disorders. This includes evaluation of hearing and balance, counseling, amplification (hearing aids and assistive devices), tinnitus (noises in head) evaluation and management, cochlear implants, and audiology in general.


I started my career as a hearing instrument specialist (on a trainee license) in 1998. After almost 2 years, I decided that I needed to pursue higher education if I was to provide the best care to hearing impaired patients that I could. In 2007, I completed my Doctor of Audiology and have been providing audiological care for almost 5 years. I have vestibular, cochlear implant, and pediatric experience along with prescribing, fitting, and verification of hearing aid amplification as part of comprehensive hearing loss rehabilitation.

Audiology doctor and owner at Great Lakes Audiology in Toledo, OH. phone: 419 327-2273 website: American Academy of Audiology American Speech-Language Hearing Association Ohio Academy of Audiology

Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Western Michigan University, Speech Pathology and Audiology Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), Ohio State University Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)

©2016 All rights reserved.