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Balance Problems

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Summary

Have you ever felt dizzy, lightheaded, or as if the room is spinning around you? If the feeling happens often, it could be a sign of a balance problem. Balance problems can make you feel unsteady. You may also have blurred vision, confusion, and disorientation. They are one cause of falls and fall-related injuries, such as a hip fracture.

Some balance problems are due to problems in the inner ear. Others may involve another part of the body, such as the brain or the heart. Aging, infections, head injury, certain medicines, or problems with blood circulation may also cause balance problems.

It is important to see your doctor about balance problems. They can be a sign of other health problems, such as an ear infection or a stroke. Your doctor may send you to a specialist for a diagnosis. You may need a hearing test, blood tests, or imaging studies of your head and brain. Other possible tests look at your eye movements, and how your body responds to movement.

In some cases, treating the illness that is causing the disorder will help with the balance problem. Exercises, a change in diet, and some medicines also can help.

NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Symptoms

  • (Vestibular Disorders Association)

Living With

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • (Vestibular Disorders Association) - PDF
  • (Vestibular Disorders Association)
  • (American Heart Association)

Specifics

  • (National Multiple Sclerosis Society)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
  • (Vestibular Disorders Association)

Find an Expert

  • (American Academy of Neurology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in

Seniors

  • (Vestibular Disorders Association) - PDF

Patient Handouts

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