Bring Balance Back To Your Life
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, you should discuss it with your doctor.
- Am I unsteady?
- Does it feel like the room is spinning?
- Do I feel as if I’m moving when I know I’m standing or sitting still?
- Do I lose my balance and fall?
- Do I feel as if I’m falling?
- Do I feel as if I might faint or lightheaded?
- Is my vision blurry?
- Am I disoriented? (lose my sense of time, place, identity)
What is dizziness?
For some people, dizziness is a feeling of unsteadiness or a spinning sensation. Others may experience extreme balance issues that affect their daily lives. Dizziness may be a fleeting sensation or the prolonged symptom of other health problems that can affect a person’s quality of life. Experts believe that more than 40 percent of Americans experience dizziness that is serious enough to go to a doctor. Even minor, if not diagnosed, may be a signal of underlying health issues.
Balance problems are among the most common reasons older adults seek help. Many people are surprised to learn that the source of their imbalance may be in their inner ears. Balance (or vestibular) problems are reported in about 9 percent of the population who are 65 years of age or older. Fall-related injuries such as breaking (or fracturing) a hip are a leading cause of death and disability in older individuals and many of these hip fractures are related to balance. Although this is about adults, children who complain about balance issues should be seen by a doctor.
Balance disorders may also lead to other problems including fatigue, difficulty walking, or disinterest in everyday activities. If you or someone you know has a balance problem, take it seriously. When talking with your doctor, be as specific as possible when describing your symptoms.
Balance disorders are serious. The most important thing you can do if you think you have a balance disorder is to see a doctor. Your doctor may refer you to an otolaryngologist – someone who specializes in the ear, nose, and throat. They will find out why you have balance problems and discuss treatment options.
To schedule an appointment with the Ear, Nose, and Throat Institute, please call 770-740-1860.