Balance

Balance disorders are disturbances that make us feel unsteady on our feet or dizzy, as though we’re moving, spinning, or floating. The dizziness can happen when we’re standing, sitting down, or lying down.

Our balance is maintained by our eyes, ears, and proprioception, the body’s sense of where it is. Disturbances to any of those senses can affect our balance.

Certain medical conditions can cause balance disorders. Other causes include medications, problems in the inner ear or eyes, brain injuries including strokes, or low blood pressure.

Symptoms

Besides a feeling of unsteadiness, symptoms of balance disorders also include nausea, blurred vision, and hearing loss.

Evaluation

To determine the cause of your balance condition, your UT Southwestern doctor will perform a physical exam and review your medical history. He or she will also conduct a series of tests that will check many factors, including your ears’ electrical system, the location of any injury or nerve disorder, and amount of sway while standing still to measure motor skills.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on the cause but can include balance retraining exercises, diet, surgery, or medications. You and your doctor will work together to decide which treatment option is best for you.

UT Southwestern’s ear, nose, and throat specialists can diagnose and treat your balance condition and help you get back on your feet with confidence.