DIZZINESS OR LOSS OF BALANCE
Dizziness or loss of balance is the second most common complaint heard in doctors' offices. National Institute of Health statistics indicate that dizziness will occur in 70% of the nation's population at sometime in their lives. Acute or chronic problems with equilibrium may indicate serious health risks.
Equilibrium disorders fall into two categories: The first is Dizziness, Vertigo or Motion Intolerance that may occur in acute or sharp attacks lasting only seconds or sometimes for several hours.This condition may be caused or worsened by rapid head movements,turning too quickly, walking, or riding in a car.
The second is a Persistent Sense of Imbalance, unsteadiness or what some people refer to as a loss of sure-footedness.
The good news is that diagnosis and treatment options have become more effective over the past ten years.
STATISTICS SHOW THAT:
Mistakenly, many people believe that the loss of balance and unsteadiness are a natural result of aging. Fear of falling is the number one health concern of individuals in their later years. The National Institute of Health statistic's indicate that balance-related falls account for half of accidental deaths in the population over 65. In addition, nearly 300,000 hip fractures result from balance related falls each year.
Human equilibrium is a complex interaction which requires correct input from the inner ear, vision and somatosensory (contact with the earth as perceived by our feet, muscles & joints.). All three signals must then be correctly received by our central nervous system. Then the brain must execute the correct movement of our musculoskeletal system, so that we maintain our center of gravity. If any one of these components do not network properly,the patient may suffer loss of balance.
The natural aging process may affect any one or all of these senses, as well as the brain's ability to interpret and to react to them quickly. It is common for someone who has fallen to say "they saw the curb or step, but weren't able to react fast enough" to keep their balance. With proper diagnosis and therapeutic exercises, many older adults are able to return to more active lives.
DIZZINESS, VERTIGO, MOTION INTOLERANCE
If for any reason there is an abnormal increase or decrease in the signal being sent to the brain, from any of the balance canals, the brain will perceive this as an exaggeration or hallucination of motion; this causes what we commonly term dizziness or vertigo.
Illness, infections, disease, head trauma, and the natural aging process may cause changes in the equilibrium portion of the inner ear. For many motion sickness may be traced to their early childhood. Motion intolerance may be experienced as either a sense of exaggerated motion or an inability to watch moving objects.
Although symptoms may only last for several days it is not uncommon, if left improperly diagnosed or untreated, for them to linger for years.The good news is that 90% of all causes of dizziness can be found through a comprehensive evaluation. 85% of balance symptoms are caused by inner ear disturbances and can be treated medically, surgically, or with Vestibular Rehabilitation.
DO YOU EXPERIENCE:
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