Relationship between balance and dizziness

Written by: Dr. Francisco Vázquez de la Iglesia
Edited by: Roser Bernés Ubasos

Vertigo is the sense of balance disorder, characterized by a sense of rotary movement of the body or surrounding objects. This sense of movement is often unpleasant and can affect the quality of life of the sufferer, it can occur for several reasons and can be treated.


What causes vertigo?

dizziness and vertigo Ears, besides hearing, are responsible for coding the acceleration with which the head moves. And transmit this information to the brain to integrate and create a reflection that enables the eyes move at the same speed as the head but in the opposite. Without this reflection, it would be impossible to walk and simultaneously see clearly the environment, suffering from what is known as oscilloscopy.

Faced with an acute attack of vertigo damage suffered in the inner ear, the eyes interpret the head is constantly moving towards the ear works properly, causing a rhythmic eye movement adjustment called nystagmus that are responsible for the patient perceive their environment or he does not stop spinning, especially when close your eyes.


Balance disorders, major causes of vertigo

The balance system does not depend solely ear. Changes in vision, spinal cord, some arrhythmias or disturbances in blood pressure, many drugs and even situations of anxiety or stress may be involved in balance disorders.

The most common cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It is a vertigo lasting seconds usually triggered by position changes, such as turning the head sideways or extending the neck sideways.

Another great vertiginous syndrome is the Neuronitis Vestibular; It occurs when one ear stops working, becoming unable to encode acceleration of the head, and is characterized by symptoms of spontaneous vertigo, several hours or days of evolution that ends leaving very unstable patient for days or weeks.

Meniere's Disease is best known vertigo. It presents spontaneous vertigo symptoms usually lasting more than 20 minutes, tinnitus and hearing loss. The Meniere's is a chronic disease with outbreaks of dizziness that can be very debilitating in everyday patient. Hearing worsens with every crisis of vertigo, without ever fully recover.

Vestibular Migraine is a very common impaired balance but little known, as is generally reached their diagnosis by exclusion of other causes and there is to date no diagnostic test to help confirm. Vestibular migraine patients suffer migraine episodes usually accompanied by vertiginous crises. It is a central condition whose cause lies in the brain and not in the ear, as with the reasons given above. Dizziness whose origin is an alteration in the brain are relatively rare, but it is very important to diagnose early because they can endanger the patient's life as in the case of a brain hemorrhage or stroke. Another common neurological disease, multiple sclerosis, can also manifest vertigo at some point in their evolution.

As mentioned above, some heart problems such as arrhythmias or poorly controlled hypertension may also manifest vertigo. Just as some endocrine problems such as hypothyroidism or taking certain drugs. Even sometimes, back problems are behind a real picture of vertigo or balance disorders where raw instability symptom. Older people are more likely to have impaired balance or vertigo, a fact that is known of presbivértigo.

Undoubtedly, the most important in a crisis of vertigo is to differentiate, through proper interview with the specialist in otolaryngology , physical examination and additional tests, if the problem is in the ear or brain.


Edited by Roser Berner Ubasos

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Francisco Vázquez de la Iglesia

Referent of the specialty, he is Doctor of Medicine with the qualification of outstanding cum laude for the Doctoral Thesis "Physiological bases of the pharyngoesophageal segment, acoustic and aerodynamic study of the erigmofonic voice".

He develops his professional activity in his private practice in the Model Hospital and is the holder of a position of optional specialist in the area by opposition in the Galego de Saúde Service (SERGAS), where he works part-time in the Regional Hospital Virxe da Xunqueira.

He is a full member of the Spanish Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Cervical Facial Pathology (SEORL) and author of numerous scientific articles of national and foreign dissemination.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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