A balance disorder is a situation that causes dizziness or unsteadiness. It makes you feel like spinning, floating, or moving even when you are lying down or standing in one position. It is commonly called as chakkar aana in hindi (https:/www.neuroequilibrium.in/what-is-vertigo-hindi/). A balance disorder is a serious problem and is caused by various health conditions, a side effect of a medication or problem of the brain or inner ear.
The sense of balance in humans is mainly regulated by a honey-web like structure in the inner ear known as a labyrinth, made from soft tissue and bone. The one end of the labyrinth is a complex system of pouches and loops known as otolithic organs and semicircular organs. These organs help to maintain the balance of the body. At the other end is supported by a snail-shaped organ known as cochlea that is accountable for human hearing. All these organs constitute the 'vestibular system,' which is responsible to maintain the balance of the body. The Functioning of the Vestibular System The vestibular system functions with the sensorimotor system of the body that includes our eyes, and a skeletal system like joints and bones in order to maintain proper position and balance of our body. Also, the system is responsible to maintain a strong focus on objects even when the body is moving. The vestibular system detects mechanical forces, such as gravity that act on the vestibular organs. With the two parts of the labyrinth, the semicircular canals are 3-fluid loops organized roughly at precise angles to each other. They send messages to the brain when the head moves in a circular motion like when we move it down, right, left, or up. When the visual system of our body works in balance with our vestibular system then we avail proper balance and fixed position. But when this balance is disturbed then we avail moving heads, blurred vision, and spinning mind even when we are in one position.
Symptoms of Balance Disorder
When the vestibular system is impaired then this results in balance disorder, which is accompanied by numerous symptoms such as:
- Blurred vision
- Floating sensation
- Feeling of falling
These are some of the prominent symptoms of balance disorders and when the situation becomes more complex then the problem may accompany with other symptoms like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fluctuations in blood pressure levels, changes in heart rate, and even panic and anxiety. When the situation is chronic then some people would also feel depressed, tired, depressed, and unable to focus.
Different Types of Balance Disorders
There are different types of balance disorders and some of the common types are:
- Positional Vertigo or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV)
This is one of the most common types of balance disorders that results in intense sessions of vertigo that happens because of a sudden change in the head position. People suffering from BBPV experiences head spinning when they look at an object for a long or when they turn their head to look over the shoulder. The problem of BBPV may also occur when you roll over in the bed. This type of balance disorder occurs when there is an issue in the inner ear. In such situation, the inner ear sends conflicting messages to the brain regarding the head position leading to vertigo. Sometimes, BBPV may occur because of increasing age or injury in the head.
Another type of balance disorder may occur when there is an infection or inflammation in the inner ear. This type of problem in the inner ear causes loss of balance and dizziness. This sort of problem occurs with an upper respiratory infection like flu.
- Vestibular Neuronitis
When a virus causes inflammation of the vestibular nerve then this can lead to dizziness. This type of balance disorder is also a primary symptom of chronic vertigo.
- Meniere's disease
When there is a change in the volume of fluid within the components of labyrinth then this leads to Meniere's disease. This type of balance disorder leads to frequent sessions of vertigo, tinnitus, irregular hearing loss, buzzing or ringing sound in the ear, and sometimes feeling of fullness in the ear. The cause of this type of balance disorder is still unknown.
- Perilymph Fistula
This form of a balance disorder is the leakage of fluid in the inner ear into the middle ear. It can happen after a head injury, physical exertion, chronic ear infections, ear surgery, and drastic changes in the atmospheric pressure, like when you do scuba diving or sometimes flying in the plane. This is another most notable symptom besides nausea and dizziness. It results in unsteadiness when standing or walking that increase with performing physical activity and reduces with rest. There are some cases when even small babies are born with the disorder.
- Mal de Débarquement Syndrome
This type of balance disorder occurs when a person feels continuous bobbing or rocking in the mind. It usually occurs when you take a ride in the sea or have an ocean cruise. Mainly, the symptoms of this type of balance disorder occur for few hours or days. However, if there is any severe damage then the problem may persist for even years.
Diagnosing Balance Disorder Diagnosing the problem of a balance disorder is difficult. There are numerous potential causes that may result in the situation be it medications or medical conditions. In order to analyze the balance problem, the doctor suggests the patients visit an otolaryngologist. Such a person is a physician and a surgeon specializing in the problems related to throat, ear, and nose. The otolaryngologist conducts numerous tests and examinations in order to assess the cause of the problem and the extent depending on the health condition and symptoms related to it. Some of the common tests done are hearing examination, electronystagmogram that measures the movement of eyes and muscles controlling them, blood tests, and scan studies of the head. A balance disorder is a type of vertigo that may be accompanied by other symptoms. It is a common problem among women than men. If treated early then it is possible to cure it completely, otherwise, some individuals tend to experience this problem throughout their life.