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What are balance disorders? What are its causes and symptoms? – Part 1

A balance disorder is actually a disturbance which involves somebody to feel unsteady, like when standing or walking. It may be accompanied by feelings of:
– Giddiness
– Wooziness
– Having a sensation of movement
– Spinning
– Floating

Balance is the result of several body systems working together:
– The visual system-eyes
– Vestibular system-ears
– Proprioception -the body’s sense of space
• Degeneration of loss in function in these systems can result in balance deficits.
• When balance is impaired, one has difficulty maintaining upright position.
• For example, an individual may struggle to walk or may not even have the ability to stand.
• They could have falls or near-falls.

When symptoms exist, they may include:
– A sensation of dizziness
– Vertigo
– Lightheadedness
– Feeling woozy
– Problems reading
– Difficulty seeing
– Disorientation.

Some individuals may also experience:
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Faintness
• Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
• Fear
• Anxiety
• Panic

Some reactions to the symptoms are:
– Fatigue
– Depression
– Decreased concentration
The symptoms might appear and disappear over short period of time or may last for a longer time.

Disorientation Causes

• Cognitive dysfunction may occur with vestibular disorders.
• Cognitive deficits will not be spatial anyway.
• Additionally they include non-spatial functions.
• They’re like object recognition memory.
• Vestibular dysfunction is shown to adversely affect attention or concentration.
• Increased demand for attention can worsen the dizziness that is associated with vestibular disorders.
• Humans with bilateral vestibular damage undergo atrophy on the hippocampus is found from the recent MRI studies.
• This correlates with their amount of impairment on spatial memory tasks.
• Issues with balance may appear when there is a disruption of the vestibular, visual, or proprioceptive systems.
• Abnormalities in balance function may indicate numerous pathologies.

This range from causes like:
– inner ear disorders
– low blood pressure
– brain tumors
– brain injury including stroke

Vertigo Causes and Symptoms

• Vertigo is an experience of a sense motion or spinning.
• Most people find vertigo very disturbing.
• They report nausea and vomiting along with it.

– A sensation of moving or spinning
– Loss of balance
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Light-headedness
– Problems in walking properly
– Problems in standing still properly
– Blurred vision
– Earache

– Balance mechanisms of the inner ear
– A problem with the brain
– Nerves connecting the brain and the middle ear encounter problems.

Disequilibrium Causes and Symptoms

• Disequilibrium is the sensation of being off balance.
• It is most often characterized by frequent falls in a specific direction.
• This condition is not often associated with nausea or vomiting.

– Vertigo
– Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
– Inflammation in the inner ear
– Meniere’s disease
– Vestibular migraine
– Acoustic neuroma
– Feeling of faintness
– Drop in blood pressure
– Inadequate output of blood from the heart
– Inner ear problems
– Sensory disorders
– Joint and muscle problems
– Neurological conditions
– Medications
– Inner ear disorders
– Anxiety disorders
– Low iron levels
– Low blood sugar
– Ear infections
– Overheating
– Dehydration
– Chronic subjective dizziness

– False sense of motion or spinning
– Lightheadedness
– Feeling of near fainting
– Floating
– Swimming
– Heavy-headed ness

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