Vertigo is the primary symptom of any balance disorder. If you close your eyes during an episode of vertigo, you'll feel as if you're spinning or falling. Severe vertigo can cause vomiting and stop you from walking.
Because the vestibular system is linked to the brain's movement centre and to the eyes, some people with vestibular disorders find their vision is affected, or their muscles are poorly coordinated or don't go where they're supposed to. The muscles may ache, particularly in the neck and back.
Some people complain of other symptoms during attacks of vertigo, like memory problems or difficulty reading. Most people find the struggle against vertigo physically exhausting. Symptoms can last from a few minutes to hours.
The symptoms of bacterial labyrinthitis are unmistakeable. Typically, an ear infection will be followed over days or weeks by a serious deterioration of hearing and extreme vertigo. Viral labyrinthitis may appear weeks or months after a bout of flu or some other viral illness. The vertigo is milder and you may not lose any hearing, though you'll probably have tinnitus, a ringing in the ear.
Ménière's disease brings periodic attacks of vertigo and tinnitus, ranging in frequency from once a year to once a day. Hearing may come and go, but it tends to get worse over the long run. About 10% to 15% of people with Ménière's disease have it in both ears.
Neuronitis due to a blood clot causes sudden loss of balance that may leave you unable to walk for weeks. Your hearing may be unchanged.