What causes loss of balance and how to treat it?

Symptom Database

Loss of balance, also known as balance disorders, can be a frustrating and debilitating condition that affects many individuals. It can manifest in various ways, such as vertigo, dizziness, unsteadiness, and impaired balance. Understanding the causes of balance problems and knowing how to treat them is crucial for improving one’s quality of life. In this article, we will explore the different factors that contribute to balance issues and provide valuable insights on effective treatment options.

What Causes Loss of Balance?

Balance control is a complex process that involves the integration of sensory information from the inner ear, eyes, and muscles. Any disruption in these systems can lead to balance problems. Here are some common causes:

Inner Ear Disorders

The inner ear plays a vital role in maintaining balance. Conditions like Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and labyrinthitis can affect the inner ear’s function, resulting in dizziness and unsteadiness.


Certain medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, anxiety, and seizures, can have side effects that impact balance. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect your medication is causing balance problems.

Neurological Conditions

Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke can disrupt the brain’s ability to control balance. These conditions often require specialized treatment and management.

Musculoskeletal Issues

Problems with the muscles, joints, and bones can also contribute to balance problems. Conditions like arthritis, muscle weakness, and joint instability can affect balance control.

Treating Balance Disorders

While the specific treatment for balance disorders depends on the underlying cause, there are several approaches that can help alleviate symptoms and improve balance. Here are some effective treatment options:

Balance Training

Balance training involves exercises and activities designed to improve balance control. These exercises focus on strengthening the muscles involved in balance and enhancing coordination. Examples of balance exercises include standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, and practicing yoga or tai chi.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized form of therapy that targets the inner ear and its connections to the brain. It involves exercises and maneuvers that aim to retrain the brain to compensate for balance problems. A trained physical therapist can guide individuals through specific exercises tailored to their needs.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to manage symptoms associated with balance disorders. Medications can help alleviate dizziness, reduce vertigo episodes, and improve overall balance. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any medication.

Assistive Devices

For individuals with severe balance problems, assistive devices can provide support and stability. Canes, walkers, and braces can help prevent falls and improve mobility. It is essential to work with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable assistive device for individual needs.

Lifestyle Modifications

Simple lifestyle changes can also contribute to better balance. These include maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. Regular exercise, particularly activities that promote strength and flexibility, can also enhance balance control.


Loss of balance can significantly impact an individual’s daily life and increase the risk of falls and injuries. Understanding the causes of balance disorders and seeking appropriate treatment is crucial for managing symptoms and improving overall well-being. Whether through balance training, vestibular rehabilitation, medication, assistive devices, or lifestyle modifications, there are various options available to address balance problems. If you are experiencing balance issues, consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop a personalized treatment plan. With the right approach, it is possible to regain stability and regain control over your balance.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment