A balance disorder is a condition that makes you feel unsteady or dizzy. If you are standing, sitting, or lying down, you might feel as if you are moving, spinning, or floating. If you are walking, you might suddenly feel as if you are tipping over.
Everyone has a dizzy spell now and then, but the term “dizziness” can mean different things to different people. For one person, dizziness might mean a fleeting feeling of faintness, while for another it could be an intense sensation of spinning (vertigo) that lasts a long time.
Balance disorders can be caused by certain health conditions, medications or a problem in the inner ear or the brain. A balance disorder can profoundly affect daily activities and cause psychological and emotional hardship.1
If you have a balance disorder, your symptoms might include:
- Dizziness or vertigo (a spinning sensation)
- Falling or feeling as if you are going to fall
- Staggering when you try to walk
- Light-headedness, faintness, or a floating sensation
- Blurred vision
- Confusion or disorientation
Other symptoms might include nausea and vomiting; diarrhoea; changes in heart rate and blood pressure; and fear, anxiety, or panic. Symptoms may come and go over short time periods or last for a long time, and can lead to fatigue and depression.1