Dizziness and vertigo are symptoms of a vestibular balance disorder. Balance disorders can strike at any age, but are most common as you get older.
Your ear is a complex system of bone and cartilage. Within it is a network of canals. These are called semicircular canals. The canals are filled with fluid. The position of the fluid changes with movement. A sensor in the ear then sends the information to your brain to contribute to your sense of balance. These and other delicate pieces make up the vestibular system.
Certain things can affect the signals from any of the parts of the vestibular system causing symptoms.
Common causes of vestibular balance disorders include:
The symptoms of a vestibular balance disorder include:
Less common symptoms include:
Treatment will depend on the cause of your balance disorder and may include:
Possible complications include:
The symptoms of vestibular balance disorder can interfere with regular daily activities and your ability to drive, work, or enjoy recreation activities. This can cause symptoms of depression and frustration. Counseling can help you learn to cope with the disorder and life style impacts.
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy occasionally happens to most people. If these sensations are frequent and affect your quality of life, contact your healthcare provider.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: