Balance

Implant Improves Balance, Movement and Quality of Life for People with Inner Ear Disorder

Getting around without the need to concentrate on every step is something most of us can take for granted because our inner ears drive reflexes that make maintaining balance automatic. However, for about 1.8 million adults worldwide with bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH) — loss of the inner ears’ sense of balance — walking requires constant attention to avoid a fall. Now, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have shown that they can facilitate walking, relieve dizziness and improve quality of life in patients with BVH by surgically implanting a stimulator that electrically bypasses malfunctioning areas of the inner ear and partially restores the sensation of balance.