Don’t Let Dizziness Throw Off Your Life’s Balance

Dizziness or loss of balance, sometimes referred to as vertigo, is the second most common complaint that doctors hear. According to the National Institutes of Health, dizziness will occur in 70 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. Whether the dizziness is fleeting or chronic may indicate how serious the potential health risks are to you as an individual.

Equilibrium disorders typically fall into two categories:

  • Acute attacks of dizziness, vertigo, or a general loss of balance that may last a few seconds or a few hours
  • A persistent sense of imbalance, unsteadiness, or what some people refer to as a loss of sure-footedness

The good news is diagnosis and treatment options for both of these types of balance problems have become more effective over the past 10 years. There is hope for many individuals who once thought there might be no relief.

Why Am I Losing My Balance?

Human equilibrium is a complex interaction that requires input from our inner ear, vision, and somatosensory perception (contact with the earth as perceived by our feet, muscles, and joints). All three signals must then be correctly received by our central nervous system. Then the cerebellum, which is the motor-control portion of the brain, must execute the correct movement of our musculoskeletal system so that we maintain our center of gravity. If any one or several components of this complicated system do not work properly, then a loss of sure-footedness or movement coordination can take place.

The natural aging process may affect any one or all of these senses, as well as the central nervous system’s ability to interpret and react to them quickly. It is very common to hear from someone who has fallen that they saw the curb or step but were not able to react fast enough or to keep their balance.

With proper diagnosis and therapeutic exercises, known as balance retraining, many older adults can return to a more active lifestyle.

Facts About Dizziness and Balance

  • Loss of balance will affect 90 million Americans at some point during their lives.
  • More than 9 million people each year consult their physicians to find solutions to their dizziness, which is the No. 1 complaint for individuals over age 70.
  • Balance-related falls account for more than half of all accidental deaths in the elderly population, and they cause more than 300,000 hip fractures each year in individuals over age 65.
  • Some inner-ear disorders, like Ménière’s disease or benign positional vertigo, have symptoms that are virtually indistinguishable to most people. Because of how they affect an individual’s ability to stand, walk, see clearly, think clearly, read, watch television, and make decisions, these disorders are often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis and clinical depression.
  • Children with treatable balance disorders are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as learning disabled, dyslexic, or psychologically disturbed.
  • Head trauma and whiplash are frequent causes of dizziness.
  • Ear infections can also cause vestibular disorders.

Cityview Audiology provides expert assessment of balance disorders, which often originate in the vestibular system, found in the inner ear. Please contact us today for a consultation of your unique dizziness and balance difficulties.

Balance comes from 3 main areas of the body.

Balance Graphic


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of the dizziness?
Typically, symptoms resolve on their own, but treatment can be provided either in home or at a practice that treats balance issues. Cityview Audiology can help with your vertigo and other balance and dizziness disorders.
How long does vertigo last?
A vertigo attack may last only a few seconds, or a few hours. The condition itself may last only a matter of weeks, or it may be an ongoing problem. People with persistent, ongoing vertigo may be in danger of harming themselves or others, making treatment a necessity.
Why do I get dizzy when I stand up?
Blood pressure drops excessively when you sit or stand, causing dizziness. This dizziness can resolve rapidly within a few seconds if the person lies down. Some people do faint, however, and symptoms tend to be more common and worse after exercise, consuming alcohol, or eating a heavy meal. Low blood flow to the brain can cause dizziness and other symptoms, and is not necessarily a result of vertigo. Because reasons for dizziness vary depending upon specific medical conditions, individuals who experience excessive dizziness when shifting body positions are encouraged to contact our practice for a full consultation.