Recent Blog Articles
Talking to your doctor about your LGBTQ+ sex life
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
Thunderstorm asthma: Bad weather, allergies, and asthma attacks
Heart problems and the heat: What to know and do
I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, right?
Period equity: What it is and why it matters
Back pain: Will treatment for the mind, body—or both—help?
Colon cancer screening decisions: What’s the best option and when?
Cognitive effects in midlife of long-term cannabis use
If climate change keeps you up at night, here's how to cope
Welcome to the symptom guide regarding imbalance or unsteady gait. We're sorry to hear you're having this problem.
This symptom guide is designed for persons who have noticed balance problems or unsteadiness while walking.
Please keep in mind that this guide cannot replace a face-to-face evaluation with a health professional. It is meant to provide helpful information while you are awaiting further evaluation, or to supplement what you may have already learned after medical evaluation.
In this guide, you'll be asked a series of questions that will guide you through some of the most common reasons for balance problems; however, it won't cover every cause.
So, if none of the conditions covered in this guide seem to apply to you, keep in mind that sometimes no cause is found. Or, you may have a rare cause of imbalance that's not covered here.
The first questions are aimed at the possibility of a serious or dangerous cause of imbalance or unsteady gait.
Did your balance problems begin after a head injury?
Or did they develop along with any of the following?
- A severe headache
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Slurred speech
- Inability to walk
- Trouble swallowing
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!