A balance disorder makes you feel like you’re moving when you’re not. If you’re standing, sitting or lying down, you might experience a spinning or floating sensation. If you’re walking, you might feel like you’re about to tip over.
Symptoms may come and go or linger for a while, but either way, they impact your daily routine. Everyday activities such as driving, walking up or down the stairs, using the bathroom or exercising become difficult – even dangerous because you’re at a higher risk of falling.
Some symptoms are associated with inner ear problems, but others like light-headedness from standing too quickly, bending over, reaching for an upper cabinet, etc. can be related to a blood flow issue with your heart, or a condition in your neck or eyes.
The information below refers to common ear conditions causing balance problems and vertigo.
Common types of balance disorders include:
The most common causes of balance disorders include:
If you have a balance disorder, you may experience some of these symptoms:
Less common signs of a balance disorder include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, change in your heart rate or blood pressure or anxiety.
Treatment of your balance disorder will depend on the cause and severity of your symptoms. Your doctor will do a thorough exam and ask you about your health history before determining whether you need medical testing.
One option is to treat the underlying health condition that’s triggering your balance disorder.
Another option is a series of exercises for balance disorders (vestibular rehabilitation). It includes specific movements of your head and body, designed to retrain your balance.