Print
Request Appointment

Understanding Dizziness, Balance Problems, and Fainting

Balance is a group effort of the eyes, inner ear, joints, and muscles. They each send signals to the brain about body position and head movement. Then the brain uses this information to achieve balance. When the brain receives conflicting signals, or when there is a problem with blood flow, dizziness or fainting can occur.

Outline of man playing tennis. Eye, brain, inner ear, joints and muscles, and heart are pointed out.

Vertigo

Vertigo is the feeling of spinning. It may happen if the brain receives conflicting balance signals. Vertigo is often caused by a problem in the inner ear. Problems include changes in inner ear structures, infection, swelling, or excess fluid. Sometimes vertigo is due to a brain problem, such as migraine. 

Dysequilibrium

Dysequilibrium is the feeling of imbalance without a sense of spinning. It may happen if the signal path between the body and brain is disrupted. There are many causes of dysequilibrium, including diabetes, anemia, head injury, and aging.

Syncope

Syncope is losing consciousness or fainting. The brain needs oxygen-rich blood to function. The heart pumps that blood to the brain. If there is a problem with the heart, blood flow, or blood vessels, faintness may occur.

 

Was this helpful?

Yes No
 

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.
 
 
 
 
 
NEXT ▶

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

 
 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
 
 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.