Ronald E. Snyder, M.D.     Rolando Amadeo, M.D.
Board Certified Specialists

Balance Testing

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:

  • 90 million Americans will suffer a balance disorder sometime during their lifetime.
  • Balance problems are the number one complaint for those over 70 years of age.
  • One-half of the accidental deaths in the elderly are due to balance problems.
  • Over 300,000 hip fractures a year are due to falls from imbalance.
  • Inner Ear Disorders and balance disorders have symptoms which are virtually indistinguishable to most people.
  • Balance Disorders can affect a person's ability to stand, walk, see, think, read, or watch television. Balance problems are sometimes confused with multiple sclerosis and clinical depression.
  • Children with balance disorders are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as being learning disabled, dyslexic, or psychologically disturbed.
  • Whiplash and head injuries are frequent causes of balance and dizziness.
  • Ear infections can also cause vestibular disorders.

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

The primary organ of equilibrium in the human body is located in the inner ear, which serves as the sensory organ for spatial orientation, head movement, as well as hearing.

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:

  • A feeling of motion, spinning, or falling when moving your head quickly, or changing your position?
  • Uneasiness trying to get around in the dark?
  • Walking down grocery store aisles or through the mall and becoming upset?
  • Your feet not going where you want them to?
  • A sense of unsteadiness? A feeling you are not sure-footed?
  • A fear of falling or stumbling?
  • Queasiness while looking at moving objects while riding an escalator or in a moving car?
  • Difficulty keeping your balance as you walk on different surfaces, e.g. tile or carpet?
  • A feeling like you are drifting or being pulled to one side when walking?

 

If you answered YES to one or more of these questions,
call to schedule your comprehensive evaluation
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Serving Central Florida

MD Diagnostic Specialists

Maitland Office: 668 North Orlando Avenue, Suite 1010 • Maitland,FL32751
Phone: (407) 644-0101 FAX: (321) 441-1559
 
Contact Us: Info@myMDDS.com
New Patients: NewPatient@myMDDS.com

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. We will gladly contact you within 24 hours.