Sometimes a person who experiences traumatic brain injury also experiences balance and equilibrium problems. These issues are considered sensory problems, as they are associated with the parts of the brain that govern vision and hearing.
Midline Shift Syndrome
Midline shift syndrome, in which balance and equilibrium are affected, generally goes hand-in-hand with post-trauma vision syndrome. Symptoms of midline shift syndrome include:
- Continual sense of disequilibrium
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Incorrect weight distribution and posture
- Inappropriate gait
- Trouble walking in a straight line
Patients of midline shift syndrome frequently also complain that the walls seem to be moving in on them, or the horizon is oddly tilted.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
BPPV is an immediate but brief sense of vertigo that occurs when the position of the head changes to a certain position. This condition is also associated with jerky movements of the eyes.
Treatment of Balance Problems
Treatment depends upon the cause of the balance problem. Treatments may include dietary changes, prescription medications, and balance retraining exercises. Midline shift syndrome can also be treated with yoked prism reorientation, in which prisms are used to help the patient’s brain refocus, and therefore regain a sense of balance.