Balance disorders can feel unnerving. Suddenly things that came easily to you, like walking and standing, have become real efforts. You may feel a floating or spinning sensation that makes you feel as if you’re going to fall or you may feel lightheaded and disoriented. Reasons people experience these episodes include:
- Ear infections
- Problems with the inner ear or brain
- Other health conditions
Unfortunately, these dizzying episodes can also cause other health problems, like anxiety, nausea, diarrhea and blood pressure spikes.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of vertigo or a balance disorder, care teams in the Sutter Health network are ready to help you get back on your feet as soon as possible.
To diagnose the problem, your doctor will likely perform a complete examination, including examining your ears, ordering blood and tests and looking at your eyes. She may also ask to take images of your brain.
Depending on the cause of your balance problems, your doctor may adjust or change
your medication, prescribe you additional anti-vertigo or anti-nausea medication or
ask you to make some lifestyle changes (like adjustments to your diet or quitting
smoking). Your care provider may also recommend additional therapies to help relieve
During therapy, a physical therapist will instruct you in exercises and movements for your specific problem. Treatments focus on improving balance, decreasing vertigo and increasing activity levels for eventual return to a normal lifestyle. Treatment for many balance and vestibular disorders can be highly effective. Duration of treatment varies from patient to patient based on the disorder or problem.
The following conditions that can be treated effectively by therapy include:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Acute and Chronic Vertigo
- Balance Disorders caused by other conditions
Often times, people find that the combination of these treatments helps. But there are cases where dizziness cannot be fully relieved. In these cases, your doctor will help you find ways to adjust your activities to keep from hurting yourself or others. Your team works with neurobiologists to coordinate care with other brain disorders.