Balance Disorders

A sense of balance is what enables us to know where our bodies are in the environment and the ability to maintain a desired position. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDC), an estimated two million adults, particularly those age 65 and older, suffer from chronic dizziness or difficulty with balance, which is known as a balance disorder. The possible causes of balance disorders may include:

  • Side effects from medications
  • Ear infections
  • An injury to the head
  • Any injury or condition that affects the inner ear, eye, skeletal system or brain
  • Exposure to unusual motions
  • Low blood pressure


Symptoms of Balance Disorder
If you are suffering from a balance disorder, you may have difficulty with the normal movement. This can, in turn, adversely affect your ability to concentrate, your memory and even your motivation to perform your daily activities. Patients suffering from this ailment commonly report the following symptoms and should see a specialist to assess the condition:
  • Feeling dizzy (vertigo)
  • Falling or feeling like you might fall
  • Feeling lightheaded, faint or like you are floating
  • Blurry vision
  • Disorientation and/or confusion

Diagnosing and Treating Balance Disorders

Houston Methodist’s physicians specialize in diagnosing balance disorders and may recommend that you undergo tests such as a hearing exam, blood tests, imaging for head or brain injuries, or other balance testing as needed. After reviewing your medical history and test results, treatment options will be presented to you. These may be as simple as a change in medication or the need to see a specialist in another field that may be the underlying cause for your particular condition. Your doctor will also discuss ways to avoid injury and whether or not it is safe to drive.



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