A lot of older adults seek medical help because of balance problems. Though, this problem is often because of vertigo. Vertigo can make you feel you are in a spinning motion, thus, affects the balance in moving or remaining still.
People with good balance can walk without staggering, get up from a chair without falling, climb stairs without tripping, and bend over without falling. Without a good balance, you can’t get around to doing your daily routines. And having a balance disorder is why older people easily fall. So seek medical treatment for the illness that is causing the imbalance disorder.
What Causes Balance Problems?
Age is one factor of balance problems, though this is not always the main cause. Other risk factors include Upper respiratory infections, other viral infections, and, less commonly, bacterial infections. These risk factors can cause labyrinthitis or inner ear problems.
Other diseases like stroke, low blood pressure, hypertension, head injury, multiple sclerosis, and even some medicines can trigger balance problems. Consult your doctor if you experience any problems when taking a medication. Your doctor can help you get the right medication you need while trying to reduce unwanted side effects.
Symptoms to Look for
When you suffer from a balance disorder, you might stagger when you try to walk or fall when trying to stand up. You might also experience these other symptoms such as
- Dizziness or vertigo (a spinning sensation)
- Falling or feeling as if you are going to fall
- Lightheadedness, faintness, or a floating sensation
- Blurred vision
- Confusion or disorientation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in heart rate
- Fear, anxiety, or panic
Managing Balance Problems
Depending on the severity, balance disorder symptoms may come and go over short time periods or last for a long time.
There are exercises that are developed by professionals to help patients who suffer from balance disorders. Exercises like moving your head and body in certain ways can relieve the symptoms of balance disorders.
Depending on the cause, balance problems are manageable by having a healthy lifestyle and a proper diet.
And being cautious regarding your body’s posture and movement, such as standing up slowly and avoiding crossing your legs when you’re seated, can also reduce the severity of your symptoms.
There are cases in which some people won’t be able to fully relieve their symptoms and should seek other ways to cope with the conditions.
To prevent fatal injuries, avoid walking in the dark or wearing high-heeled shoes. It is advisable to use a cane or a walker to assist in your balance. It is also wise to change your home or workstation by adding handrails if possible.
If you have trouble with your balance, seek professional help and talk to your GP about what activities are safe for you and what are risks. A vestibular rehabilitation therapist can help you make an individualized treatment plan.
We provide practical advice for those who have balance problems.
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