Your Balance System

Good balance is often taken for granted. Most people don’t find it difficult to walk across a gravel driveway, transition from walking on a sidewalk to grass, or get out of bed in the middle of the night without stumbling. However, with impaired balance such activities can be extremely fatiguing and sometimes dangerous. To understand what's going on when you're balance system isn't working, it's helpful to know how your balance system works.

Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness, vertigo and disequilibrium are common symptoms that may result from a problem in your vestibular system in your inner ear or from other causes, such as stress, dehydration, heart problems, and vision issues.

Vestibular Symptoms

Vestibular symptoms may be difficult to describe, which complicates the diagnostic process. If you are unsure if you have a vestibular problem, reading this explanation of symptoms may help you.

About Vestibular Disorders

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these processing areas, disorders of dizziness or balance can result. Vestibular disorders can also result from, or be worsened by, genetic or environmental conditions, or occur for unknown reasons.

Common vestibular disorders

Less Common vestibular disorders


An overview of vestibular disorders is available in the following languages: