Common Balance Problems

Balance affects our everyday lives in surprising ways. Here are some common balance problems.

Have you ever been sitting in a car when a car in the lane next to yours started forward, and you thought you were going backward? Our eyes can sometimes fool us. That's why, for a complete sense of balance, we also need the vestibular system—fluid-filled organs in the inner ear—and proprioception, the information received by the nerves in the skin, muscles and joints.

When you turn around and around then stop suddenly, the fluids in your inner ears keep moving for a few seconds. Your brain senses that you are still spinning even though you stopped, and you get dizzy. When the inner ear fluids settle down, the dizziness goes away.

Motion sickness, seasickness and the queasy feelings in your stomach when you're on a roller coaster all stem from the same basic reaction. The external motion makes the fluids in your inner ears move. This can sometimes overload the brain with sensory input, which causes queasiness and sometimes nausea and vomiting.

Medical Reviewer: [Akin, Louise RN, BSN, Ferguson, Monica O. M.D., Godsey, Cynthia M.S., M.S.N., APRN, Lambert, J.G. M.D., O'Brien, Chris RN, MPH, Sweetwood, Jane RN, MN, CCRN] Last Annual Review Date: 2009-10-26T00:00:00-06:00 Copyright: Copyright Health Ink & Vitality Communications