Vestibular Balance Disorder

Vestibular balance disorder occurs when the vestibular system is not functioning properly. When the vestibular organs of the inner ear do not provide the correct information about head movement, the result is problems with balance.


According to the Vestibular Disorders Association, there are 18 specific vestibular disorders, including Meniere's disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular migraine, otosclerosis, vestibular hyperacusis and cervicogenic dizziness.

How It Works

The vestibular organs in the inner ear work with the visual system to focus on objects when the head is moving. They also work with joint and muscle receptors to maintain balance; these three sources submit information to the brain.


Symptoms of a vestibular balance disorder include dizziness, spatial disorientation and imbalance. The disorder can also cause a sensation of movement, floating or spinning, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.


Causes of vestibular balance disorder include viral infections of the vestibular nerve or the labyrinth and bacterial infections of the brain coverings or the middle ear that may spread to the inner ear, states the Vestibular Disorders Association.


Treatment for dizziness, imbalance and vestibular dysfunction may include vestibular rehabilitation therapy, medication, diet changes, surgery and treatment of underlying causes.

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About the Author

Carolyn Green has been a freelance writer since 1989. She has written for BETweekend, Good Old Days, Baby's World and more. A teacher from New York, she also taught in Seoul, where she wrote for a Korean publication. Her passions include world travel, nutritional research and alternative medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from State University of New York, Old Westbury.