- Do Balance Disorders Go Away?
- What Is
Do balance disorders go away?
Generally, balance disorders last for a couple of days and the patient recovers slowly over 1 to 3 weeks. However, some patients may experience symptoms that can last for several months. For symptoms that don’t go away with other treatments, the physician might prefer surgery.
What is a balance disorder?
A balance disorder is a condition characterized by dizziness and vertigo while standing still or lying down. Balance disorders can be caused due to certain medical conditions, injury, medications or an issue in the inner ear or the brain.
The dizzy spell may vary from person to person. For some, dizziness can be short-term whereas for oters dizziness may be an intense sensation of spinning that may last for a long time.
A balance disorder can deeply affect daily activities and cause physical or emotional disturbances.
What are the symptoms of a balance disorder?
Symptoms of a balance disorder include
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Confusion or disorientation
- Blurred vision
- Lightheadedness, faintness or a floating sensation
- Staggering while walking
- Feeling as if you are going to fall
Other symptoms may include
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in heart rate and blood pressure
What causes a balance disorder?
A balance disorder can be caused due to various factors, including
- Viral or bacterial infections in the ear
- Head injury
- Cervical spondylosis
- Blood circulation disorders
- Certain medications
- Problems in the visual, nervous, circulatory and skeletal system
- Low blood pressure
- Eye muscle imbalance
However, many balance disorders do not have an exact cause.
What are the different types of balance disorders?
The different types of balance disorders include
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo: This is a short, powerful episode of vertigo that occurs due to a specific change in the position of the head.
- Labyrinthitis: Infection or inflammation in the inner ear causes dizziness and loss of balance.
- Meniere’s disease: Fluid change in the inner ear tube.
- Vestibular neuronitis: Viral infection may cause inflammation of the vestibular nerve.
- Perilymph fistula: This is the leakage of inner ear fluid into the middle ear. It can occur after a head injury due to drastic changes in atmospheric pressure (such as when scuba diving) or after ear surgery.
- Mal de debarquement syndrome (MdDs): This is characterized by continuous bobbing feeling after travelling on a ship.
How is a balance disorder diagnosed?
The physician may review your medical history as well as conduct a physical and neurological examination. To check problems in the balance function in the inner ear, the doctor might recommend the following tests
- Hearing tests: Difficulties in hearing will be associated with balance problems.
- Posturography test: It indicates the part of the balance system that is used more.
- Electronystagmography and videonystagmography: These tests record your involuntary eye movements.
- Rotary chair test: Eye movements are analyzed while sitting in a computer-controlled chair.
- Dix-Hallpike maneuver: Rotation of the head in different motions while observing the eye movements can help to identify a false sense of motion or spinning.
- Vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials test: Sensor pads are attached to the neck and forehead to measure the muscle contractions in reaction to sounds.
- Imaging tests like MRI and CT scans
- Blood pressure and heart rate tests: Blood pressure measured while sitting and then standing for 2 to 3 minutes may help to determine if there is a significant fall in blood pressure.
How is a balance disorder treated?
Treatment depends on the cause of balance disorder, which may include
- Treat any underlying infections using antibiotics or antifungals.
- Make changes in diet and activity, such as quitting smoking
- Try canalith repositioning maneuvers that are a specialized series of head and chest movements. These may remove small calcium deposits in the inner ear causing giddiness.
- Get surgery when medications and other therapies do not fix the problem.
- Receive rehabilitation, such as balance retraining therapy.
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