What kind of doctor should I see for balance problems?

To find out if you have a balance problem, your primary doctor may suggest that you see an otolaryngologist and an audiologist. An otolaryngologist is a physician and surgeon who specializes in diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, neck, and throat.

Should I see a neurologist for balance issues?

While the vast majority of balance problems are caused by problems with the inner ear, there may be neurological causes for balance disorders which require neurological care.

What is the best treatment for balance problems?

  • Balance retraining exercises (vestibular rehabilitation). Therapists trained in balance problems design a customized program of balance retraining and exercises. ...
  • Positioning procedures. ...
  • Diet and lifestyle changes. ...
  • Medications. ...
  • Surgery.

What medical conditions cause balance problems?

Certain conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, or problems with your vision, thyroid, nerves, or blood vessels can cause dizziness and other balance problems.

What neurological disorders cause balance problems?

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). ...
  • Vestibular neuritis. ...
  • Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness. ...
  • Meniere's disease. ...
  • Migraine. ...
  • Acoustic neuroma. ...
  • Ramsay Hunt syndrome. ...
  • Head injury.

Balance and Dizziness Problems Addressed at Penn Medicine

How does a neurologist check your balance?

The Romberg test is a test that measures your sense of balance. It's typically used to diagnose problems with your balance, which is composed of your visual, vestibular (inner ear), and proprioceptive (positional sense) systems during a neurological exam.

What causes you to feel off balance?

Inner ear and balance

Dizziness has many possible causes, including inner ear disturbance, motion sickness and medication effects. Sometimes it's caused by an underlying health condition, such as poor circulation, infection or injury. The way dizziness makes you feel and your triggers provide clues for possible causes.

Do balance problems ever go away?

A balance disorder is a condition in which a person frequently feels dizzy or unbalanced while standing, sitting, or lying down and these symptoms continue over a period of time. Most often, balance problems that are not associated with a balance disorder go away on their own within 1-2 weeks.

Why am I losing my balance as I get older?

Inside the inner ear is the vestibular system, where we perceive balance. This system connects to the brain, which gives us a message when we are about to fall and directs the body to take corrective action. But with age, cells in the vestibular system die off, affecting our ability to correct our position.

Can balance problems be serious?

Balance problems may cause dizziness and make you feel as though you're spinning or moving when you're actually standing or sitting still. As a result, you may not feel well. This can interfere with your daily life. It can also lead to falls, which can cause broken bones and other injuries.

How do you test for balance problems?

Common balance tests include:
  • Electronystagmography (ENG) & Videonystagmography (VNG) These tests measure your eye movements. ...
  • Rotary Chair Test. For this test, you will sit in a motorized chair and wear goggles that record eye movements as the chair moves slowly in a circle.
  • Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMP)

What causes weak legs and loss of balance?

Peripheral nerves

The nerves outside of your brain and spinal cord can become damaged, which is called peripheral neuropathy. Weakness, numbness, pain and balance issues can be caused by peripheral neuropathy because it makes it difficult to determine where your body is relative to other objects or the ground.

What part of the brain causes problems with walking and balance?

Cerebellum and brainstem

It may cause difficulty with walking and balance, hand coordination, speech and swallowing, and eye movements. Ataxia usually results from damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination (cerebellum) or its connections.

What are signs that you need to see a neurologist?

Common reasons to visit a neurologist
  • Chronic or severe headaches. ...
  • Chronic pain. ...
  • Dizziness. ...
  • Numbness or tingling. ...
  • Movement problems. ...
  • Memory problems or confusion.

What part of the body controls balance?

The inner ear is home to the cochlea and the main parts of the vestibular system. The vestibular system is one of the sensory systems that provides your brain with information about balance, motion, and the location of your head and body in relation to your surroundings.

Why are my feet unsteady when I walk?

Gait and balance issues can cause unsteadiness and difficulty standing and walking. Depending on the cause, a person may also experience vertigo, dizziness, and motion sickness, for example. Common causes of these issues in adults include musculoskeletal injuries, arthritis, and visual or inner ear problems.

Can the elderly get their balance back?

It's never too late to start an exercise program or make improvements to your current one. In addition to these exercises, you can improve your balance with activities such as walking, chair yoga, and tai chi. Make a point to do some type of physical activity every day, even if it's for a short time.

At what age does balance start to decline?

Researchers have found that balance begins to decline in midlife, starting at about age 50. In one recent study, adults in their 30s and 40s could stand on one foot for a minute or more. At age 50, the time decreased to 45 seconds.

Can heart problems cause balance issues?

Abstract. Background and aims: Heart failure affects most systems of the body and causes various problems in patients. Balance deficits and gait deviations can be a result of these effects.

Why do I feel spacey and off balance?

Causes of lightheadedness may be dehydration, medication side effects, sudden blood pressure drops, low blood sugar, and heart disease or stroke. Feeling woozy, lightheaded, or a little faint is a common complaint among older adults.

Can nerve affect balance problems?

Your nerves can no longer send signals to your brain about the position of your legs and feet, which can cause unsteadiness. Other nerve problems. Neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, ataxia, spinal cord disorders, and other chronic diseases increase the risk of balance problems.

Can brain damage cause balance problems?

Balance problems are common after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Symptoms of dizziness, unsteadiness, or imbalance have been most frequently attributed to sensory organization problems involving the use of visual, proprioceptive, and/or vestibular information for postural control.

What are 3 signs or symptoms of equilibrium problems?

Balance issue symptoms include:
  • Vertigo. Vertigo makes you feel dizzy or like you're spinning when you're not.
  • Feeling lightheaded or faint.
  • Feeling unsteady on your feet (as if you're about to fall).
  • Blurred vision.

What is it called when you can't walk properly?

Ataxia is a loss of muscle control. People with ataxia lose muscle control in their arms and legs. This may lead to a lack of balance, coordination, and trouble walking. Ataxia may affect the movements of: Fingers.

What disease affects your walking?

General causes of abnormal gait may include:
  • Arthritis of the leg or foot joints.
  • Conversion disorder (a mental disorder)
  • Foot problems (such as a callus, corn, ingrown toenail, wart, pain, skin sore, swelling, or spasms)
  • Broken bone.
  • Injections into muscles that causes soreness in the leg or buttocks.
  • Infection.
  • Injury.