About the Balance Disorder Spectrum

The idea of a Balance Disorder Spectrum was conceived by Andrew Hugill in December 2017.

Hugill is a Professor of Creative Computing and a composer/musicologist who suffers from Ménière's Disease. He developed the idea with Professor Peter Rea, a consultant otolaryngologist and ENT surgeon. Here is their co-authored technical report.

Their idea is that the interactive web page contained in this site should be made freely available to anyone who may find it useful. Their longer-term aim is to create an AI tool for more accurate diagnosis.

Whether symptoms of some other underlying problem, or recognised conditions in their own right, balance disorders are having a major effect on the health and wellbeing of around one third of the population, and consequently a negative socio-economic impact.

Balance disorders are beset by confusing names and conflicting medical opinions. Terms such as: dizzy, light-headed, floating, woozy, giddy, off-balance, feeling faint, helpless, or fuzzy, are used loosely, consolidating the impression that this is a vague collection of ailments. The more accurate medical terms, such as vertigo, dysequilibrium and presyncope, are poorly understood by the general public.

Use by the general public

The concept of a Spectrum of balance disorders should help to improve public awareness and offer comfort and context to patients. People who are experiencing balance problems, or concerned families and friends, may be able to use the Spectrum to identify the kinds of disorders that hold the key to their diagnosis and treatment by qualified doctors. While this is definitely not a diagnosis tool at present, it does show for the first time the complete grouping of all known disorders in one place – aiding comprehension of where symptoms may stem from, and enabling a more informed conversation with clinicians.