What You Need to Know About Balance Disorders

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Is your balance off? Do you sometimes walk into things?

Your body’s sense of balance is something you don’t even think about until you start to have issues. Most people don’t give their body’s ability to remain balanced without thinking too much about it a second thought. But, when this ability is lost it can be frightening.

In some cases, balance disorders are the result of a medical condition. To help you get better and lead a pain-free life, we created a guide that covers everything you need to know about balance disorders.

Keep reading to learn more!

Causes of Balance Disorders

Balance disorders are caused by a variety of factors, both physical and psychological. Common physical causes of balance disorders include inner ear infections, head injuries, Meniere’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Psychological causes of balance disorders can include anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.

Certain medications and drugs, including alcohol and prescription drugs, can also disrupt the balance. People of older ages, who may experience a more difficult time with balance naturally, maybe at an even greater risk. Additionally, some medical conditions, such as diabetes, can result in a lack of sensation in the feet, which can lead to balance problems.

Poor nutrition and dehydration also contribute to balance issues. Lastly, certain types of vision problems can result in balance issues, as the brain receives mixed signals from the eyes and the inner ear.

No matter the cause, it is important to consult a doctor. This will help you to understand the cause of your balance disorder and obtain proper treatment.

Symptoms of Balance Disorders

Balance disorders can have a range of symptoms from mild to severe. Common symptoms include dizziness or vertigo, lightheadedness, blurred vision, feeling off balance, and nausea. Balance disorders can make simple tasks like walking, standing, and sitting difficult or prolonged.

In some cases, they may lead to a sudden loss of balance or falling. Other symptoms could include headaches, ringing in the ears, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. Balance disorders can be aggravated by extreme temperatures or changes in elevation.

The severity of the condition and the associated symptoms depend on the type and cause of the balance disorder. It is important to seek medical attention if any of these symptoms develop. As balance disorders can often worsen over time if left untreated.

Diagnosing Balance Disorders

The most common diagnostic tools are physical and neurological exams. Some also include laboratory tests, MRIs, CT scans, VNG, and vestibular testing.

Physical and neurological exams involve a variety of tests, such as walking on a balance beam, turning in circles, and using a specialized chair. This help to measure how much swaying one experiences. Laboratory tests measure hearing and check for signs of infections or other medical causes.

An MRI or CT scan can help determine if any structural abnormalities are present in the inner ear or brainstem that may affect balance. Vestibular testing occurs when a person is exposed to controlled rapid or prolonged movements to determine how well the inner ear responds.

A VNG is a test that evaluates the balance pathways in the inner ear and brain that control body balance. During the VNG test, eye movement and reflexes are recorded. This typically requires the patient to wear goggles equipped with infrared video cameras.

It will help to record and analyze eye movements, while the patient completes various tasks. This test helps to identify the cause of balance problems.

It also provides doctors with valuable information on what the underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms may be. When diagnosing balance disorders, it is important to understand the importance to learn about a VNG and how it can improve diagnostic accuracy.

Treatment for Balance Disorders

In some cases, balance disorders may be treated with physical therapies. This includes things such as balance retraining exercises and visual aids. If medication is the cause, dose changes or alternatives may be recommended.

Surgery may be recommended if the cause is structural, such as an inner ear disorder. Vestibular rehabilitation is a physical therapy that can help improve balance by strengthening the area responsible for balance. Treatments such as these can also help reduce dizziness and other symptoms of balance disorders.

Additionally, some people may enjoy lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and limiting caffeine. It is important to speak to a healthcare provider for the correct diagnosis and proper treatment plan.

Prevention of Balance Disorders

To prevent balance disorders, one must practice good posture and support muscle strength. This includes standing, sitting, and lying down with good posture. Another way to prevent balance disorder is to avoid rapid movements, especially from standing to laying down position.

One should also exercise regularly to help support muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination. This can reduce the risk of falls and injuries that can lead to balance disorders. Making sure one has clear pathways throughout the home is also important to reduce falls.

Lastly, have regular vision and hearing check-ups. Any hearing or vision impairments can contribute to balance issues. Thus, by practicing good posture, avoiding rapid movements, and exercising regularly, one can reduce their risk of developing a balance disorder.

Diet Adjustment for Balance Disorders

Diet changes to balance disorders can help relieve symptoms and improve coordination. For example, limiting the amount of sugar and processed foods in the diet may help improve balance and coordination.

Other dietary adjustments that can be made are to add foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and legumes. Lower sodium foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and foods with higher levels of antioxidants, such as whole grains, can also help improve balance and coordination over time.

A balanced diet with the right amount of vitamins and minerals is the best way to improve coordination and balance.

Everything You Need to Know About Balance Disorders

The key to managing balance disorders is to get a correct diagnosis from a healthcare professional and receive proper treatment. It is important to follow the steps necessary to reduce the risk of falls and increase the range of motion and mobility.

Contact your healthcare provider for more information. Get started on your path to improved balance and health.

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About the Author: Katherine

Katherine is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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