Balance Problems

Basic Facts

Good Balance

To have good balance means that many different parts of the body work together well:

  • Vision
  • Balance centers in the brain and inner ear 
  • Sensory nerves that tell the brain where your body is in space
  • The brain, which handles messages from the nerves and gives directions to the body
  • Muscles and nerves, which respond to the brains messages

Problems with any of these things can cause a person to have issues with their balance.

Lack of Balance

Having a lack of balance can cause other issues, such as:

  • Not being able to carry out daily activities, like bathing, dressing, cooking, eating, or getting around the home. 
  • Falling, which can cause injuries and death.

Balance problems can be related to other health problem with other parts of the body, like the heart, brain, or nervous system.   

How Common Are Falls?

Balance problems become more common with age. In adults over age 65, balance problems are linked to falls. One-third of adults in this age group and over half of people over the age of 75 years fall each year. Men and women are affected about equally.


Last Updated January 2023

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