Ask an Expert Q&A's
Some of BC Balance and Dizziness's most popular meetings include question and answer sessions facilitated by health professionals who are particularly knowledgeable about balance and dizziness issues. On this page, browse a selection of our questions and answers. Want to submit a question to our experts? Click here! (Please make sure you check this Q&A page for answers before submitting a question. We might have already covered your question!)
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Vision is an essential part of the balance system. It works with the inner ear sensors for balance, the proprioceptors (sensation of touch) and the brain to keep us balanced. Any vision problems can negatively affect your balance and should, therefore, be addressed as much as possible. In general, the vision improvement after a successful cataract surgery has a positive impact on balance and quality of life.
I suffered a concussion in the past and my vision is deteriorating. Could that be causing my balance to get worse?
Vision is an essential part of the balance system. If you are noticing that your vision is changing and you are finding it hard to read it seems reasonable to visit your optometrist and have your eyes checked.
In addition to that, given your history of concussion, it would probably be a good idea to see a neuro-ophthalmologist or a neuro-optometrist to assess how your eyes are working together and how you are processing visual information as these are also contributing factors to human balance. You can learn more about how these professionals can help here: https://www.balanceanddizziness.org/pdf/Health-Professionals.pdf
Also, please make sure you keep your vestibular therapist informed of your vision changes, as well as any falls you may experience. Your rehabilitation programme should continue to address these issues.
The balance system is complex and involves the brain analyzing and interpreting information from three major systems: the inner ear sensors for balance (vestibular system), the visual system, and the sensation that goes from the skin, muscles and joints (proprioceptive system).
Any sensation of dizziness and imbalance may result when one or more of these four parts are not functioning well. Therefore, the perceived asymmetries you experience may stem from the vestibular organs, from the proprioceptive system and/or from the brain’s processing of the their information. You did not mention visual issues, but treating these symptoms often involve also addressing the processing of visual information, with and without head movements.
You may wish to pursue assessments to clarify whether you do have asymmetries in your balance system, namely a vestibular assessment (for the inner ear sensors and their connections with eyes and brain) and a physiotherapy assessment, for the proprioceptive and musculo-skeletal systems. Proper treatment/rehabilitation can then be tailored to your needs.
Why do I feel dizzy on the computer and why is my balance better when I wear a weighted vest or carry heavy things?
The balance system is complex and in fact involves 3 major sensory input systems, all controlled by the brain. The inner ear sensors for balance, eyes and the proprioceptors on the body all send information to the brain. Balance centres receive, analyze and integrate these bits of information and then send orders to the body to readjust according to the movement done in the first place.
When you are dizzy with computer use, it usually means that the balance system is relying more heavily on the visual input. It is not fully reassured by the inner ear sensors telling them you are not moving. You can read more about it here: https://balanceanddizziness.org/do-you-get-headaches-or-motion-sickness-from-playing-computer-games/
Having the weights on you or changing your posture as you walk is increasing the cues coming from the proprioceptive system to the brain. This additional input seems to help you balance.
I would recommend you to have your inner ear sensors tested. It might be that they are working just fine but your centres in the brain are not using their information properly or it might be that your brain is in need of all this additional information (visual and proprioception) because your inner ear sensors are dysfunctional.
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