Balance problems are the inability to stay upright and move confidently. They occur when you are unable to control your body’s position or you feel unsteady.
The feeling can happen when you are moving or being still. They often involve dizziness or vertigo (a spinning or falling sensation). Some people also experience blurred vision and disorientation.
Balance problems are a common symptom of many different medical conditions. Many of these disorders do not require medical treatment. But if you have balance problems, you should see a doctor to rule out serious health problems such as a stroke or tumor.
Problems in the inner ear may cause balance problems. Disruptions to the systems in the body that help maintain balance can also cause them.
Balance problems are more common as people get older because they have more health problems in general and as we age our balance system changes. But it is important to see a doctor if you experience this symptom. In rare cases, serious conditions including a tumor or stroke may lead to this symptom.
Common causes of balance problems include:
Doctors diagnose balance problems with a physical exam. They will ask about your symptoms and medical history. Tests doctors use to identify the cause of balance problems include:
Doctors usually manage balance problems by treating the condition or disorder causing them. Common treatments for balance problems include:
Contact your doctor if you have balance problems that:
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 12/03/2018