Balance disorders or impairment of your vestibular system can leave you feeling dizzy – even a simple thing like walking can become difficult because of the balance issues it causes. So how can you tell whether you are just simply tired from a long day or if you have a balance disorder?
Balance Disorders: What’s Causing The Ear Imbalance?
Your body’s inner ear and brain together work to maintain your balance and your eye movements. If they are damaged as a result of an injury, disease, or aging, you may end up with issues with your balance – known as balance disorders or vestibular disorders. Balance disorders can have multiple causes and symptoms, too, will vary accordingly. Some of the most common balance disorders are1:
- Labyrinthitis or inflammation/infection linked to upper respiratory infections like flu
- Mal de Debarquement syndrome experienced typically after sea travel
- Perilymph fistula after a head injury or physical exertion or major air pressure changes like that after scuba diving
- Vestibular neuronitis due to a nerve inflammation caused by a virus
- Ménière’s disease, a condition whose origins are still largely unknown
Other causes of balance issues include:
- Multiple sclerosis can cause changes in how the brain receives signals from your inner ear
- Migraines too can interfere with the signaling
- Thyroid problems can sometimes affect the normal function of your vestibular system
- Diabetes – a side effect could be a balance issue or dizziness
- Blood flow issues from a cardiac arrhythmia or low blood pressure problem
Regardless of the cause of your balance disorder, there are some typical symptoms of the problem.
Dizziness Or Vertigo
If you feel like the room or you are moving, spinning, or whirling when there is no actual movement, that’s a classic sign of vertigo. You may experience this even when you are sitting still. Certain positions or certain movements may trigger this sensation. You may also feel dizzy – as if you are floating, rocking, or being pulled or heavily weighed down in one direction. Some complain of lightheadedness – another mark of dizziness or vertigo.