Deafness/Hearing Impairment/Unable to stand

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Question
Hello Mr Levi,

I am sorry if this is not within your area of expertise. I am still asking this because I did not find any other expert in the area of ear.

My father is 70 years old and is diabetic for the past 20 years. His sugar is quite in control..usually varies between 125 to 150 and he regularly walks long distances.

Since last one week he is not able to stand or walk. He updated me that he has been using a medication for Vertigo for the last 15 days. We did visit a doctor and he found that the ear is infected and advised him a CT scan on the head/ear and also a tablets : Cetrizine and drops to be put in the ear.

I think his middle ear and outer ear is infected and maybe it is getting tranfered into the cochlea. What do you suggest me to do ?
Can the 'imbalance' be rectified by any means ?

Thanks and Regards,
-Chandan

Answer
Dear Chandon,

If you are saying that your father cannot stand or walk due to "vertigo"-- then I would ask  your father's physician why he prescribed .  Cetrizine is normally used to treat hay fever and other allergies, but not vertigo.  In a recent study (Feb 2014) 3.8% of people taking Cetrizine had Vertigo as a side effect.  The drug normally prescribed to treat the symptoms of vertigo is "antivert" or meclazine.

I agree with your father's doctor that you need to find out the origin of the vertigo.  If it coming from a problem in the inner ear (the vestibular organs) then the vertigo may lesson over time and hopefully disappear altogether.  However, the cause of the vertigo must be found before any sort of treatment is attempted.

Whether "vertigo" can be rectified depends very much on the location of the disorder.  If it is caused by a "peripheral" problem, for example, the inner ear's balance mechanisms, then there is usually effective treatment.  I would recommend getting you father to an ENT specialist who can evaluate him with a VNG (videonystagmography)protocol.  This is a non-invasive test which can help determine the site of the damage and how it can be treated.

The main thing is to have your father go to a highly recommended ENT (Otologist).

I hope the answer helps you and that your father has a full and speedy recovery.

Sincerely,

Dr. Levi Reiter

P.S. Please rate this answer.

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Levi A. Reiter, Ph.D.

Expertise

I am a full Professor of Audiology at Hofstra University and also in private practice. I can answer questions regarding hearing loss, auditory diagnoses, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, deafness

Experience

I have been teaching audiology at Hofstra University for 33 years. I have been in private practice for 31 years. I do hearing assessments, auditory diagnostic tests which are physiological, e.g., ABR, OAEs, etc. I also have over 30 years experience in fitting, and dispensing hearing aids.

Organizations
ASHA (American Speech-Language and Hearing Associaton AAA (American Academy of Audiology)

Publications
My articles have appeared in: Journal of Auditory Research J of Speech and Hearing Disorders J of Speech and Hearing Research The Hearing Journal J of the American Tinnitus Association The ASHA Leader Plus.......

Education/Credentials
I have a Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, and two post-doctoral fellowships from NIH and NICHD. I am Board Certified by the American Academy of Audiology, and hold a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. I also have numerous professional publications in the field of Audiology.

Awards and Honors
Fellowship from the National Institute of Health Sciencess Fellowship from the National Institute of Child Development Scholarships from the U of Rochester, Connecticut College Faculty Development grants from Hofstra U. The Scholars Award from the American Academy of Audiology The ACE award from the American Speech & Hearing Association

Past/Present Clients
Not sure what this means. I see clients of all ages and from all parts of the world.

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