How Problems with Your Eyes, Ears or TMJ Can Cause Vertigo

Vertigo is the sensation that you or the world around you is spinning, and it is a symptom for a range of conditions. It can happen when there are issues within the inner ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathway. The causes of vertigo are numerous, and can include less common connections such as the jaws, eyes and ears. From TMJ to eye strain, this can all lead to issues with vertigo or worsening symptoms of vertigo.

TMJ and Vertigo

The temporomandibular joint is located on both sides of your face, just in front of your ears. It connects your lower jawbone to your skull and assists with things like chewing and talking. 

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder is a condition that affects the jaw joints as well as the surrounding muscles and ligaments. This disorder can be caused by trauma, improper bite, arthritis or wear and tear over time. Common symptoms of TMJ include jaw tenderness, jaw pain, headaches, earaches and facial pain.

So can TMJ cause vertigo? TMJ can cause vertigo by means of  inflammation of the jaw joint, which many times affects the middle or inner ear which houses the vestibular nerve and other important parts that are responsible for maintaining the body’s sense of balance. If this is the cause of your vertigo, TMJ treatment could also see an end to your vertigo.

TMJ can cause vertigoOther TMJ and Vertigo Causes

I’ve discussed many hidden causes of vertigo in the past. Here are a few more less common culprits of vertigo that, if avoided, may lead you to finding relief from vertigo.

  • Chewing gum – Excessive gum chewing can lead to overworking the muscles within the jaw, usually on one side of the mouth more than the other, affecting how the jaw moves.
  • Eating hard foods – Crunchy and hard foods could cause difficulty for the movement of the jaw and lead to vertigo symptoms.

Ear Issues and Vertigo

Within the inner ear are three canals that sense different types of movement. Each canal is filled with fluid that contains floating membranes with small cells that send signals to your brain and help control balance. When these incoming signals are thrown off, it can cause symptoms such as vertigo to occur. There are a few issues with the ear that can disrupt these signals.


While everyone has earwax, excessive buildup can block the ear and cause hearing and balance issues, which begs the question, can earwax cause vertigo? It can, in fact. Elderly individuals are more likely to have issues with ear wax build up, but using things like cotton swabs can also add to the problem, as it pushes the wax deeper into the ear. A doctor can use drops or irrigation to loosen the wax and aid in its removal.

Acoustic neuroma

This is also known as vestibular schwannoma, it is a noncancerous and usually slow-growing tumor that develops on the vestibular nerve. It can lead to balance problems, vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss or ear pressure. There are a few different types of treatment for this such as microsurgery, radiation therapy or a wait-and-watch approach.

Meniere’s disease

This disease involves fluid building up in the inner ear, causing sudden attacks of vertigo as well as ringing in the ear or hearing loss. There is no outright cure for meniere’s disease but medications, diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce symptoms.

Eye Issues and Vertigo

Visual cues provide input from your eyes to your brain, and is the dominant system for maintaining balance and preventing dizziness. So when the signal is altered in some way, this can lead to dizziness and vertigo symptoms.

Binocular Vision Dysfunction (BVD)

This is a condition where the eyes do not work together to create one clear image. For those who suffer from BVD, their eyes are not in alignment and will transmit two images to the brain that are in slightly different positions to one another. The brain will then try to correct this, causing a continuous cycle of unaligned and realigned images which puts strain on the eye muscles and causes a dizzying sensation. To treat vertigo stemming from BVD, the misalignment between your eyes must be treated. This is done with micro-prism lenses, which will allow the eyes to stay in alignment with each other.

Visual Vertigo

Visual vertigo encompasses many different types of symptoms that could be causing vertigo. Including BVD, other common symptoms of visual vertigo are:

Treatment for Vertigo

The key factor in getting treatment for vertigo is to pinpoint its root cause. Most patients are unaware that TMJ can cause vertigo, let alone issues with their eyes or ears. Vertigo will continue to persist so long as these other factors remain unaddressed.

At Align Wellness Center, we have helped thousands of patients that have suffered with vertigo and are wondering if they have vertigo caused by TMJ, eye or ear issues. Those patients are finally starting to see relief from vertigo and are feeling better overall for it. Vertigo can improve drastically through corrective chiropractic care.

If you or someone you know is having vertigo symptoms and is wondering if issues with the eyes, ears or TMJ can cause vertigo, they need to be looked at by a corrective chiropractor and ensure the cervical spine is in alignment as well as other areas of the body. If you’re looking for a chiropractor that will take a natural and holistic approach to helping you with your issues with vertigo, give us a call, even if you’re out of our area, we can look to connect you with a chiropractor near you.

We offer an in-depth exam to determine exactly what we can do to help with as much detail for you as possible. It is called the 3-Dimensional BioStructural Analysis, and the process involves the following:  

  • Timeline history
  • Digital posture exam
  • 3-Dimensional posture exam
  • Chiropractic, Neurological, and Physical Exam
  • Spinal radiographs (if needed)
  • Digital biomechanical analysis of your spine
  • Insurance verification (by our insurance team)
  • Separate time to go over the results of your test within a day or two, where we will go over:
    • What is going on
    • If we can help
    • What the best next step is for you
    • Any investment in your health that is necessary

If you’re interested, you can schedule an appointment for a 3-Dimensional BioStructural Analysis here. If you’d like tips on how you can stay healthy and well without drugs and surgery, go ahead and check out other articles on this site. If you continue to struggle with vertigo give us a call at Align Wellness Center (847) 860-6599 or schedule an appointment online. Contact us today or stop by the office. We’re located at 900 Skokie Blvd., Suite 113, Northbrook, IL, 60062.

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