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What kind of medical problems cause a loss of balance?

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Quick Answer

Medical problems that cause loss of balance include viral or bacterial infection in the ear, head injury and low blood pressure, according to MedicineNet. Additionally, disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and eye muscle imbalance can also result in a loss of balance.

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Symptoms of a balance disorder include vertigo, lightheadedness, disorientation and blurred vision. Other symptoms include depression, diarrhea, vomiting, anxiety and panic, as reported by MedicineNet.

Any condition that disturbs the proper functioning of the eyes, ears or muscles can potentially result in loss of balance. Muscular dystrophies cause imbalance by weakening muscles over time, and Parkinson's disease causes imbalance as a result of neurological dysfunction. Osteomalacia weakens bones by impairing bone building and formation, often leading to a loss of balance, states Healthline.

Diagnostic tests to ascertain causes of loss in balance include imaging tests such as CT scans and MRI scans. Other diagnostic tests include motor function tests, behavioral hearing tests, otoacoustic emissions tests and auditory brainstem response tests, as stated by KidsHealth.

Patients can improve loss of balance caused by high blood pressure by cutting down sodium consumption, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. To manage imbalance caused by low blood pressure, patients should drink plenty of water and restrict alcohol consumption, according to NIH Senior Health.

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