Balance

Types of Balance Disorders and Possible Causes
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Inner ear problems 
  • Medications
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Hyperventilation
  • Vertigo (sensation of spinning or whirling motion)
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Head Injury
  • Meniere's disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Migrainous vertigo
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Presyncope (feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness that does not actually lead to fainting)
  • Orthostatic hypotension (Drop in blood pressure after sitting up or standing too quickly)
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Disequilibrium (imbalanced feeling)
  • Inner ear problems
  • Medications
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Joint, muscle or vision problems

Balance Evaluation

To establish the cause of your symptoms and to determine appropriate treatment your doctor is likely to order one or more of the following tests:

Hearing Evaluation

A complete hearing evaluation will determine if middle or inner ear disorders exist which may explain the cause of the balance disorder.

ENG (electric nystagmography) 

A series of tests that record eye movements in relationship to moving and static targets.

Dix-Hallpike maneuver

Your audiologist will use this maneuver to determine if vertigo is evoked from specific head movements.

Caloric Testing 

Eye movements are recorded in response to warm and cool air being introduced to each ear. The recordings will confirm that your vestibular system for each ear is working and responding to stimulation.

Imaging tests

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) scans are often ordered to determine if brain conditions may be causing your balance problem.

Treatment Options

Vestibular rehabilitation

A  group of exercises designed to facilitate recovery from specific balance disorders.

Medications

Some medications may help manage balance problems.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Diet and lifestyle changes may help some people with balance problems. Reducing salt, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and chocolate may improve your symptoms.