Have you experienced a sensation of spinning, giddiness or dizziness? Do you feel unsteady while walking? If yes, then you could be suffering from Vertigo, which is a false sensation of movement of the surroundings when you are actually at rest. The National Institute of Health has estimated that around 42% of the population experiences some balance problem at least once in their lifetime. Thus vertigo is a fairly common problem. But unfortunately, it is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed.

The body is dependent on three systems to give signals about the position of the body- the eyes, the ears and the muscle and joint receptors. These three systems send information to the brain about the present position of the body and the brain then ensures maintenance of equilibrium.

This is the dilemma that a patient faces- who should he/she go to- a general practioner, physician, ENT specialist, ophthalmologist, neurosurgeon? As the causes of vertigo are diverse, so the patients and often the treating doctor wonder who would be the best person to treat the patient. In a large percentage of patients, the vertigo is due to an ear problem. Hence an ENT specialist would be the best person for a preliminary consultation..


The key to the treatment of vertigo is diagnosing the root cause of the problem and then proceeding to treat it. Specific treatment according to the cause will help the patient improve rapidly. 'One size fits all' type of therapy in which a cocktail of drugs is given to suppress vertigo is not recommended.


One in 1000 babies have significant hearing impairments at birth. They are at a risk for delay in speech, language social development. Early detection followed by appropriate intervention will minimize the harmful effects on the child's development. Without scanning, this impairment may not be detected till much later.

The screening test is performed within the first few days after birth. It is performed by trained staff. It takes 15-30 minutes. The screening is safe and will not hurt your baby in anyway. Screening is done by an instrument called Otoacoustic emission (OAE). For the OAE, a small probe is placed at the opening of your baby's ears. The instrument makes clicking sounds and the probe listens is the responses (echoes) from the babies ears.

This means that your baby's hearing function is normal at the time of testing. However in some babies, hearing impairment may develop gradually as a result of recurrent ear infection, generic factors or chronic illness. So you must continue to monitor the behavioral response of your child's hearing. If at any time you suspect your child is not hearing properly, you should consult your doctor.

It does not necessarily mean that your baby has a hearing impairment but further investigation will be required.

  • High risk factors for hearing impairment.
  • Brain infections
  • Face and skull deformities
  • Family history of Hearing loss.
  • Frequent middle ear infections
  • Jaundice
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature babies
  • Maternal infections like rubella, herpes, CMV etc.
  • Milestones of Hearing

At birth: Statrle reflex , 3 months: Looking towards source of sound , 5-6 months: Turning head towards source of sound, 9-10 months: babbling-meaningless words eg Dada, lala, 14 months: meaningful words-mummy, papa, 18 months: 2 word sentences, 24 months: fluent language.


When excessive sound energy strikes the inner ear, it damages the hair cells of the cochlea. If it is brief and not very loud, the noise may cause a temporary reversible damage called temporary threshold shift. This is seen in the initial stages off factory exposure, music concerts, loud i-POD music etc. If the noise is loud and for long duration or sudden and very loud, it may cause a permanent (irreversible) threshold shift.

Noise is probably damaging to hearing if the noise, makes it necessary to shout to be heard over the background noise Causes ear pain Makes the ear ring Causes a loss of hearing for several hours after exposure to noise.

  • Continual exposure of more than 85 dB may be dangerous
  • Whisper – 30 dB
  • Normal Conversation – 60 dB
  • Drill – 90 dB
  • Firecracker :- 100 dB
  • Regulations for 'on the job' noise exposure
  • Occupational Safety and health Administration
  • (OSHA) has advised that habitual exposure above 85dB will cause gradual hearing loss.

The allowed exposure time decreases by one half for each 5 dB increase

Noise level Permitted exposure/day
90 dB 8 hrs
95 dB 4 hrs
100 dB 2 hrs
115 dB 15 min
>140 dB Not permitted