Now in its 23rd year, Balance Awareness Week is an annual awareness campaign to broaden the public’s understanding of balance-related vestibular disorders, such as Meniere’s disease and vestibular migraine, and symptoms ranging from dizziness and imbalance, to vertigo and tinnitus. While many of these conditions are incurable, faster and more accurate diagnosis, along with effective coping strategies, can greatly improve patients’ quality of life.

Balance-related disorders affect more than 69 million Americans — that’s nearly 1 in 5 people who suffer from vestibular dysfunction. Yet despite the widespread occurrence of vestibular disorders, the word “vestibular” is not commonly understood. Few know that “vestibular” refers to the inner ear and brain — the complex, mysterious human system that controls our sense of balance.

The theme of this year’s Balance Awareness Week is “Uncovering the Mystery” of vestibular diagnosis. So many people go for so long trying to figure out what is going on with them that they have to become sleuths to advocate for their own healthcare.

The overarching goal of Balance Awareness Week is to raise awareness of balance-related disorders by making “vestibular” a household word that everyone can easily understand, so that people who lose their balance can be more rapidly diagnosed, effectively treated, and gain the empathetic support they need from friends, family, and co-workers.

If you think you have a balance issue, please contact our office  ,  Dr Barbara Grossman  is a vestibular audiologist.