What causes balance disorders?
Several underlying conditions may lead to a balance disorder. Your body relies on the proper function of many systems to maintain balance, including your vision, ears, brain, and muscles.
Any condition or disease that affects the systems or senses that help you maintain balance may lead to a balance disorder. Common causes include:
Inner ear problems
Your inner ear plays an integral role in maintaining balance. It has sensory cells that relay messages to your brain about the position of your head. Therefore, inner ear problems affecting the function or structure of these nerves may cause a balance disorder.
Problems with circulation, like low or high blood pressure, may cause you to feel unsteady on your feet.
Low blood sugar may also cause dizziness.
Balance disorders are a common symptom of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Head or neck injuries
You may feel unsteady on your feet following a head or neck injury. Whiplash, for example, is a common motor vehicle accident injury that may lead to problems with balance.
What are the symptoms of balance disorders?
Dizziness is a common symptom of a balance disorder. Other symptoms you may have include:
- Vertigo (sensation of spinning or falling)
- Feeling like you’re going to fall
- Blurry vision
If you have these symptoms, schedule a consultation at Knight Neurology. The neurologists perform a comprehensive exam to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms.
How are balance disorders evaluated?
Your Knight Neurology provider conducts a thorough clinical exam when you come in with concerns about dizziness or problems with balance. Their comprehensive exam looks for conditions that affect your brain, spinal cord, or nerves that might be causing your unsteadiness.
During your visit, your provider reviews your symptoms and medical history. They perform a neurological exam, assessing balance and muscle strength, and may also complete diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, such as bloodwork, MRI, or CT scan.
Your provider performs electromyography and nerve conduction velocity (EMG and NCV) studies to assess nerve health and function or electroencephalograms (EEGs) to evaluate the electrical activity in the brain.
How are balance disorders treated?
Knight Neurology takes a patient-centered and conservative approach of care. Your provider customizes your balance disorder treatment plan based on the underlying cause.
Your plan may include:
- Physical therapy
- Positioning procedures
- Activity modification
- Disease-specific medication to manage a neurological condition
Your neurologist at Knight Neurology works closely with you, designing a program that eases symptoms, restores balance, and improves your quality of life.