Skip to main content

Balance Disorders

Balance problems can lead to a feeling of dizziness or as if the room is spinning. Some people feel as though they may fall down. These feelings can happen when lying down, sitting, or standing.

Many body systems — including muscles, bones, joints, vision, the balance organ in the inner ear, nerves, heart and blood vessels — must work normally to have normal balance. When these systems aren’t functioning well, issues with balance can occur.

Many medical conditions can cause balance problems. However, most balance problems result from issues in the balance end-organ in the inner ear (vestibular system).


Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of balance problems include:

  • Sense of motion or spinning (vertigo)
  • Feeling of faintness or lightheadedness (presyncope)
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness
  • Feeling a floating sensation or dizziness
  • Vision changes, such as blurriness
  • Confusion

Diagnosis

A Deborah Heart and Lung Center physician will start by reviewing medical history and conducting a physical and neurological examination.

To determine if symptoms are caused by problems in the balance function of the inner ear, the doctor is likely to recommend tests. They might include:

  • Hearing tests
  • Posturography test
  • Electronystagmography and video nystagmography
  • Rotary chair test
  • Dix-Hallpike maneuver
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials test
  • Imaging tests such as an MRI or CT
  • Blood pressure and heart rate tests