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The Common Triggers for a Vestibular Disorder

Triggers for a Vestibular DisorderFactors that Can Aggravate or Minimize the Risk of Vertigo or Balance Issues

If you’ve experienced some balance issues, particularly when you turn your head or body, there’s a significant likelihood that the problem is a vestibular disorder—something in your inner ear that’s causing your brain to get the wrong signals about your orientation to the ground. Vestibular conditions may stem from infections, injury or even a small flake of calcium or bone floating around in the canals inside your ear. Vestibular disorders are often brought on, though, by a number of factors that can be within your control. Let’s look at the common triggers for vestibular malfunction.

Your Diet May Contribute to Inner Ear Problems

Studies show that the foods and beverages you consume can have a significant impact on how your vestibular system functions. Alcohol is a prime example—the staggering and stumbling common after consumption of alcohol is typically related to interference with your vestibular system. Sugar and caffeine can have a similar effect, but so can dehydration. Research has also shown that too much salt can compromise your vestibular function.

The World Around You Can Trigger a Vestibular Event

For many, traveling in a motor vehicle can affect inner ear balance, particularly when there are multiple stops and starts or a winding roadway. Air travel can have the same effect. It may, however, be something as simple as harsh light, smells, sounds or even changes in the weather.

The Movement of Your Head May Cause Issues

Sudden, extreme or repetitive head movements are a common trigger. Reading or watching a tennis match, for example, can exacerbate the problem. Looking up can also be a common trigger.

Your Lifestyle Can Make Things Worse

Many of the ordinary activities of your daily life can help or hamper vestibular issues. Sleep deprivation generally makes vestibular issues worse. Regular exercise can also minimize the risk of inner ear problems.

Certain Medications Can Contribute to Vestibular Malfunction

If you’re taking medications for any reason, but you’re experiencing dizziness or vertigo, you should consult with your physician and perhaps your pharmacist to determine whether the medication may be affecting your inner ear.