What causes vestibular dysfunction?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Vestibular dysfunction can be caused by a variety of issues that affect the inner ear. For example, an infection might cause inflammation that prompts the vestibular system to malfunction, leading to dizziness or vertigo. You may also experience vestibular dysfunction, with dizziness and vertigo, as the side effects of some medications. Also, head injuries can cause the fluid in the inner ear to leak into the middle ear, leading vestibular dysfunction symptoms. The normal process of aging can lead to vestibular dysfunction in some people.

In some cases, however, the cause of vestibular dysfunction cannot be determined with certainty. For example, changes in the fluid of the inner ear can create a disorder called Meniere's disease, but the cause of those changes has not been identified.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.