Balance and Dizziness
At Mountain West ENT, we understand that balance and dizziness problems could stem from a number of conditions. Your body’s sense of balance is related to many different systems, including your inner ear and vision, as well as your nervous, muscular, and cardiovascular systems. A disruption in any of these areas can cause symptoms such as vertigo, lightheadedness, blurry vision, or confusion. If you or a loved one are experiencing loss of balance or a sense of dizziness, contact Mountain West ENT for a complete exam from our doctors in Bountiful and Layton.
Causes of Loss of Balance/Dizziness
Many different conditions can cause balance problems. An accurate description of your symptoms will help your doctor diagnose and treat you.
Vertigo is a feeling of motion or spinning. It may be caused by:
Migraines- A common side effect of migraine headaches is a sensitivity to motion.
Head Injuries- You may experience vertigo as a symptom of a concussion.
Vestibular Neuritis- An inflammation of the inner ear, this disorder may cause difficulty walking.
Meniere’s Disease- Along with hearing loss, Meniere’s Disease may cause very severe vertigo.
Acoustic Neuroma- A rare condition, this nerve disorder can cause dizziness and loss of balance.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome- An infection which targets the nerves in the ears. Symptoms include vertigo and difficulty walking.
Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness- A disorder which can cause a feeling of intense vertigo when you attempt to track moving objects or read.
Loss of Balance
If you have trouble keeping your balance, it may be caused by:
Medication- Loss of balance is a side effect of some medications.
Nerve Damage- Nerve damage in the legs can make it difficult to balance.
Vestibular Problems- A feeling of “floating” or unsteadiness caused by abnormalities in the inner ear.
Muscular/Joint Problems- Instability in your muscles or joints can contribute to balance problems.
Neurological Conditions- Parkinson’s disease and cervical spondylosis can both sometimes cause loss of balance.
If you feel faint or lightheaded, it may be caused by:
Dehydration- The most common cause of lightheadedness is dehydration. Be sure to drink water regularly to protect yourself.
Hypotension- Standing or sitting quickly may cause a drop in blood pressure, resulting in tunnel vision and lightheadedness.
Cardiovascular Disease- Arrhythmia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or impaired blood flow may result in a feeling of faintness.
A floating or dizzy sensation may be caused by:
Inner Ear Problems- Irregularities in the vestibular system may create a feeling of “floating.”
Medication- Dizziness is a common symptom of some medication.
Psychiatric Disorders- Chronic anxiety and panic attacks can create intense feelings of dizziness.
Hyperventilation- Abnormal breathing may cause lightheadedness.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
A type of dizziness that causes sensations of vertigo when making positional changes with your head. These movements cause the calcium deposits (crystals) to shift which causes short lasting dizziness. People who have BPPV typically notice that the dizziness will come and go throughout each day.
If you need help with any of the above conditions or are looking for the source of your balance and dizziness problem, reach out to a specialist at Mountain West ENT, serving Davis County, Bountiful, Layton, Clearfield and Salt Lake City.