Vestibular Balance Services – All About Balance
Why do we need balance?
Everyday tasks such as getting out of a chair, carrying shopping bags while walking or standing on tiptoes to reach an object all require good balance. Your brain uses information from your senses to keep you upright, maintains steady vision when you turn your head, and quickly corrects posture imbalances by adapting the body to changes as you move.
How does your body balance?
Good balance is controlled by three systems:
- What you are seeing
- Postural information from your muscles and joints
- Sensations from inner ear’s balance receptors, the vestibular system
What happens when these systems aren’t working?
If you have a disorder in any of these three functions, your brain relies heavily on the other two sources of information to compensate. However, sometimes the brain is over-challenged, triggering the disorientating symptoms of imbalance. This experience can impact everyday life and affect your ability to perform daily activities such as chores, work or exercise.
What are the symptoms of balance and vestibular problems?
Symptoms of balance and vestibular problems can include:
- Feeling unsteady or imbalanced
- Veering while walking
- A false sense of spinning, swaying or motion (vertigo)
- Light-headedness, floating, nausea or wooziness
- Concentration difficulties
- Sleep problems
- Jelly legs
What are the causes of dizziness and vertigo?
There are many reasons you may be suffering symptoms of imbalance, including medication side effects, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Vestibular migraine, Ménière’s disease and natural ageing. See our article on dizziness disorders here.
Why should you get balance symptoms assessed and treated?
If left undiagnosed and untreated, balance and vestibular symptoms can result in worsening unsteadiness, and an increased risk of falls and injury. It may also create anxiety over worsening symptoms and worries about potentially falling often mean loss of confidence, inactivity and reduced independence.
IMPORTANT: If you feel dizzy, unsteady, disorientated and/or lightheaded and experience any of these symptoms IN ADDITION, please attend the nearest A&E hospital or call the emergency services as soon as possible.