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The balance system and hearing mechanisms in the inner ear are very closely associated through common inner ear fluids (perilymph and endolymph). When a cochlear implant electrode is inserted into the hearing part of the inner ear (cochlea), there is usually an accompanying disturbance of the balance system. Fortunately, this disturbance is usually short-lived (a few days at most) before returning to normal. In addition, the balance system in the opposite ear, as well as your sense of vision, both have a strong role in taking over and returning the overall sense of balance to a new equilibrium. Occasionally, the balance system doesn’t fully recover following inner ear surgery, as the remaining balance in the opposite ear and the sense of vision don’t have enough reserve function to take over fully. This most commonly occurs in elderly patients or when the cochlear implant has been placed in the better balancing ear.There is no easy solution to this intrusive problem. The best advice is to maintain a vigorous (daily) exercise program and to avoid medications that may further suppress the balance functions such as Stemetil. It is recommended extra care be taken in the dark (reduced vision) or in unfamiliar or dangerous situations (heights or near moving machinery). 

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Deafblindness

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