Loss of balance is a condition in which a person feels unsteady or off-kilter. The medical term for this condition is “vestibular dysfunction.” The vestibular system is responsible for balance and spatial orientation. It consists of the inner ear, the brain, and the nerve connections between them. When something goes wrong with any part of this system, it can cause problems with balance.
Vestibular dysfunction can be caused by various factors, including infection, inflammation, injury, or disease. The most common symptom of loss of balance is dizziness. Other symptoms include vertigo, nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, headache, visual problems, difficulty hearing, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. Some people also experience anxiety or depression.
There are several things that one can do to treat loss of balance. For individuals with inner ear disorders, the doctor may prescribe medication to relieve symptoms or help the body adjust to the changes in your vestibular system. Individuals may also be referred to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist who can help them retrain their bodies to maintain balance. Balance exercises, vestibular rehabilitation therapy, and sensory organization training are all effective treatments for vestibular dysfunction. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying problem.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is a condition that causes a loss of balance. It occurs when the tiny crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and fall into one of its semicircular canals. These canals are responsible for detecting movement and controlling the sense of balance. When the crystals enter these canals, they cause false signals to be sent to your brain, which results in dizziness and a loss of balance.
Several things can cause the crystals in the inner ear to become dislodged, including head trauma, infection, or simply the aging process. In addition, once these crystals have fallen into the canal, it can take some time for them to work their way back out.
The most common symptom of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is dizziness. This can range from a mild feeling of lightheadedness to a severe sense of spinning or rotating. You may also feel like you are about to fall over or lose your balance. These symptoms can last for a few seconds up to several minutes. Some people with BPPV also experience nausea and vomiting during an episode.