Feeling unsteady on your feet makes it hard to get about and puts you at risk of falls. If you're struggling with poor balance, Houston Neurological Institute in Pasadena and Pearland, Texas, can help. Its highly-skilled neurologists use advanced diagnostics to determine the cause of your balance problems and find the most effective treatments. To benefit from their experience, call the Houston Neurological Institute office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Normal balance involves several systems. These are vision, the vestibular system in your inner ear, the somatosensory (musculoskeletal) system, and your brain and nervous system.
When one or more balance systems aren't working properly, you can experience poor balance, as well as vertigo (the feeling that the room is spinning around you), disorientation, dizziness, and syncope (fainting).
Older people are especially prone to poor balance. That is due to deterioration in vestibular function, sight, musculoskeletal strength, and cognitive function.
Poor balance can result from a variety of problems, from inner ear infections to central nervous system diseases and even alcohol intoxication.
Some of the conditions the neurologists at Houston Neurological Institute see most often include:
You might also experience poor balance if you have a circulatory disorder that means your brain isn't receiving enough oxygen or your blood pressure is liable to drop suddenly. Syncope can also occur for these reasons.
Treatment for poor balance depends on what's causing it. For instance, if you have labyrinthitis, then treating the underlying ear infection should resolve your balance problem.
In some cases, such as when you have an incurable condition like Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis, you might benefit from balance-training exercises.
Patients with BPPV usually respond well to canalith repositioning, a technique where your provider at Houston Neurological Institute moves your head to dislodge the particles in your ear that are causing your balance problem.
Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake and building up strength and balance with physical therapy and regular exercise can also be highly beneficial.
Medications such as anticholinergics and dopamine agonists can help by treating the condition responsible for your poor balance. Anti-vertigo or anti-nausea medications might be useful if you're affected by these symptoms in addition to your poor balance.
You may need to use a supportive device like a walker or a cane as well if you're unsteady on your feet.
To find out why you have poor balance and get help with your condition, call Houston Neurological Institute today or book an appointment online.