Skip to content

Balance Disorders

Make Appointments & Get Care

What are Balance Disorders?

A balance disorder occurs when your eyes, ears, and muscles are working together correctly to make sense of balance information sent from many parts of the body to your brain.

Common Symptoms of Balance Disorders

  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo (a feeling of spinning)
  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling off-balance

Common Causes of Balance Disorders

  • Ear infection
  • An abnormality in part of the inner ear
  • Fluid buildup in the inner ear
  • A mass pressing on the nerves in the inner ear
  • Eye muscle imbalance
  • Head injury

UR Medicine's Treatments for Balance Disorders

Diagnosing a Balance Disorder

Your provider will ask questions about any dizziness or imbalance you are experiencing before recommending a series of tests. You will need to refrain from taking certain medications and substances for 48 hours before testing.

Tests used to diagnose balance disorders include:

Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction in Balance (MCTSIB), during which you will be asked to stand in various conditions (with eyes open or closed on firm and soft surfaces.) This helps your doctor to see how the eyes, ears, and muscles work together to keep you upright.

Vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP), during which will listen to a repeated sound and asked to shift your head in different directions while wearing sensors on your skin. This test helps your doctor learn if each ear responds to balance information equally. It is also useful for identifying any physical or structural issues in the balance parts of the inner ear.

Video Head Impulse Tests (vHIT) allow your doctor to see how the balance system responds to quick head movements. You will wear a set of goggles to track eye movements while your provider moves your head.

Videonystagmography assesses control of your eye movements. During this test, you will wear goggles that track your eyes as you follow a target on a screen.

Treating a Balance Disorder

Balance disorders can be complex. However, once the cause or causes are understood, management and therapy can improve symptoms. Treatments may include:

  • Specific maneuvers of the head performed by the provider
  • Vestibular physical therapy
  • Surgical procedures
  • Medication

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine provides the highest level of care for patients with vestibular disorders. Vestibular testing, hearing evaluations, clinical consultation with ear, nose, and throat (ENT) providers, and vestibular physical therapy are all available at the same convenient location in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

Our outpatient clinic offers the most up-to-date, evidence-based evaluation, treatment, and management approaches. UR Medicine providers are sought for their expertise in rare and complex hearing and balance issues.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

View Providers


We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

View All Locations

2 locations

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Brighton

Clinton Woods
2365 South Clinton Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14618

Balance Disorders & Dizziness Clinic - Rochester

Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue, 1st Floor, Room 1-5119
Rochester, NY 14624

Related Services & Conditions