Balance Disorder

Balance can be affected by inner ear diseases such as labyrinthitis (inflammation of ear labyrinth) and Meniere’s disease (increase in pressure on liquids in meniere), vestibular neuritis (balance nerve infection) and ear crystal dislocation.Rarely, otitis media can affect balance too. Diseases which cause balance problems can sometimes manifest themselves as dizziness or severe balance loss.

Imbalance occurs when the nerves which communicate with the brain are damaged or when these nerves deliver the wrong information.The main centre related to balance in the brain is made up of balance cells in the brain stem and cerebellum.There are nerves coming from the spine and balance centre in the inner ear into this centre.The second most important centre is half circle tubes in the inner ear.These tubes are designed to understand the fast spinning motion of the head and to determine the position of the head in 3D space.Extensions of the nerves here make up the balance nerves and deliver information needed for balance through brain stem into the brain.Nerves making up joints and tendons tell the brain about the body’s balance.These nerves are located in the column called the back cord which is located in the back of the spine and deliver information regarding the position of the body in three dimensional space through the brain stem into the related centres.This sense is called deep sensory.The person feels imbalance in any one disorder of anatomic structures.

Balance problems may occur due to circulatory problems, nerve degeneration caused by vitamin B12 deficiency or rarely tabes dorsalis (a complication of syphilis).A tumour or stroke in the cerebellum of the brain, can cause deteriorated muscle coordination as well as saggyness in arms and legs.

Stumbling, blacking out, dizziness and even fainting caused by standing up too quickly can sometimes be a sign of tension and sugar imbalance while sometimes can be an indication of neck vein narrowing.