If you feel like you’ve just gotten off a ride at Disneyland even though all you did was get out of bed or turn your head too fast, you may have a balance disorder. Knowing the signs is the first step to getting treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of a Balance Disorder
There are many different types of balance disorders, and each is associated with different symptoms. In general, the signs and symptoms of a balance disorder include:
- Vertigo (feeling that you or the room around you is spinning).
- Feeling lightheaded of faint.
- Blurred vision.
- Confusion or disorientation.
- Staggering or feeling unsteady on your feet.
- Trouble walking in the dark.
- Poor coordination.
What Are the Different Types of Balance Disorders?
Some of the most common balance disorders include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This type of vertigo causes brief but intense episodes of vertigo. It’s caused by calcium crystals that become loose in the inner ear, sending incorrect signals to the brain about head and body movements. This type of vertigo can be treated with a series of body positions called the Epley maneuver or canalith repositioning.
- This balance disorder is caused by an infection or inflammation of the inner ear. Labyrinthitis typically goes away on its own but can be managed with antihistamines, anti-nausea medications, corticosteroids and sedatives in the meantime.
- Meniere’s disease. This condition causes episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus and a feeling of fullness in the ear. It’s associated with an abnormal amount of fluid in the ear, but little is known about the disease. It can be managed with hearing aids, therapy and certain medications.
- Vestibular neuritis. This balance disorder is caused by inflammation of the vestibular nerve, causing vertigo. This condition is managed by treating the underlying virus and reducing symptoms through medications.
How Are Balance Disorders Diagnosed?
It can be difficult to diagnose a balance disorder. A balance specialist can order hearing tests, blood tests, imaging studies and balance tests such as nystagmogram (which is a test that measures eye movements) and posturography (which tests your balance on a movable platform).
For more information about balance disorders or to schedule an appointment with a balance expert, call Torrance Audiology today.