Balance, Dizziness and Vertigo

Most of us will at one point in our lives be affected by dizziness, feeling unbalanced or even have spells of vertigo, a sensation of everything spinning. This can occur in childhood but undoubtedly is more apparent as we age or have a medical condition. There are also side-effects from medications, the use of drugs and alcohol, obesity and genetics to mention a few.

We generally are kept in balance by a network of pathways that are like roadways of high-speed two-way traffic throughout our body that sends information to and from the brain. This is an extremely complex network that allows us to move about with ease by coordinating muscle movement, ligaments, proprioreceptors spread throughout the body, visual and hearing information, all at a time when we are moving around even with gravity pulling us down.

Evaluation of a complaint related to dizziness and balance problems can often be rather complex and lengthy. A host of issues need to be considered and, if an obvious cause is identified, proper treatment performed.

Success of treatment varies greatly between individuals as there are many factors to consider. The overall goal is, however, to prevent a fall and further injury which carries with it a higher chance of mortality in the elderly.

The best approach is to gather as much information as possible at the initial evaluation. Testing is used to confirm a suspicion of what might be causing the problem and remediation is then directed based on these results. There may not be a single solution to a certain complaint of either dizziness, vertigo or a balance problem. As such a consult with other professionals may be sought in order to provide for a more comprehensive plan of treatment.