Causes of Balance and Vestibular Disorders

What causes Balance and Vestibular Disorders?

We have mentioned the following causes of vestibular disorders: viral or bacterial infections, Meniere’s disease, Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV), natural ageing, migraines, medications, head injury, tumours, and autoimmune diseases. Below is a more comprehensive list of the causes of some types of vestibular disorders.

  • Acoustic neuroma – a tumour growing on the vestibulo-cochlear nerve.
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease -a mal-functioning immune system attack cells in the ear.
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – loose debris within part of the inner ear.
  • Cervicogenic dizziness – a syndrome of neck problems that include cervical trauma, cervical arthritis, and others.
  • Enlarged vestibular aqueduct – the function of the duct and endolymphatic sac are affected when the aqueduct is enlarged.
  • Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis – inflammations caused by viral infection can damage the hearing and vestibular function (labyrinthitis) or the vestibular function (vestibular neuritis).
  • Mal de barquement (disembarkment syndrome) – sensation of persistent movement after travel.
  • Meniere’s disease – abnormalities in quantity, composition, or pressure of the endolymph (one of the fluids within the inner ear). It is a progressive condition.
  • Middle ear pressure changes – such as from colds or allergies, can result from swelling of the Eustachian tube or the presence of fluid in the middle ear.
  • Migraine associated vertigo (MAV) – head pain with dizziness, motion intolerance, spontaneous vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, tinnitus, imbalance, and spatial disorientation.
  • Otitis media – bacterial infection of the middle ear and meningitis is a bacterial infection of the brain covering that may spread to the inner ear.
  • Otosclerosis -growth of bone of the middle ear preventing the middle and inner ear from working properly.
  • Ototoxicity –  caused by exposure to some drugs or chemicals.
  • Perilymph fistula – a tear or defect in the oval or round window.
  • Superior semi-circular canal dehiscence – an opening in the bone overlying the uppermost semi-circular canal within the inner ear.
  • Secondary endolymphatic hydrops – abnormalities in quantity, composition, or pressure of the endolymph.
  • Vascular compression of the vestibular nerve – an irritation of the vestibular portion of the vestibulo-cochlear nerve by a blood vessel.

Read more about balance and vestibular disorders