Balance Disorder (Dizziness)
A balance disorder is a complex condition that causes feelings of unsteadiness, wooziness and sensations of spinning, moving or floating. Part of the inner ear known as the labyrinth interacts with other body systems like the eyes, bones and joints to maintain balance. Problems within the vestibular (ear), brain or nervous systems can cause balance problems, which affect over 2 million people each year.
Symptoms of Balance Disorder
- Motion sickness
- Blurry vision
Common symptoms like nausea, vomiting, faintness, anxiety and panic can also occur.
Balance disorders are often the result of another medical condition which may be minor or severe. These conditions usually affect either the visual, vestibular or general sensory system or the brain. Some of these causes can include infections, injuries, blood circulation disorders, medications and aging.
Diagnosing a balance disorder can be a complicated procedure. Since dizziness and vertigo are symptoms of so many conditions, it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause. Your doctor may perform a series of audiologic, vestibular and movement tests depending on your symptoms. Identifying the underlying cause and the type of balance disorder are both important in successful treatment.
Different Types of Balance Disorder:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) - feelings of vertigo after specific position changes of the head
- Labyrinthitis - dizziness and loss of balance caused by an infection or inflammation of the inner ear
- Meniere's disease - vertigo, hearing loss and ringing in the ears caused by an inner ear fluid imbalance
- Vestibular neuronitis - vestibular nerve infection
- Perilymph fistula - inner ear fluid leakage caused by physical injury or exertion
Treatment For Balance Disorders
Treatment for a balance disorder can depend on the root of the issue and its causes. After identifying the cause, treatments from our experienced professionals often eliminates the balance problem. Surgery may be recommended for patients whose symptoms cannot be controlled by more conservative methods. The following treatments may also help to relieve symptoms:
- Balance-training exercises
- Lifestyle changes, such as limiting alcohol and caffeine
- Antibiotics for ear infections
- Anti-vertigo and anti-nausea medications
Managing these complex conditions require staying informed and working together with your doctor in order to receive effective treatment