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Are You Having Balance Problems As You Get Older?

Many people experience balance problems as they get older. For example, you may feel lightheaded when you change from a seated to a standing position. Or you may feel like the room is spinning or that the objects around you are in motion.

If your dizziness is severe enough, you may have difficulty walking and fall easily. There are several things that can make you experience balance problems and dizziness.

One of the most common causes of balance problems is prescription medication. Dizziness is a common side effect in many of these medications. If you suspect your medicine is causing balance problems, don’t suddenly stop taking it. Instead, call your pharmacist and ask about side effects.

Sometimes, dizziness and balance problems are the result of starting a new medication and these symptoms will subside after a few doses. However, you should talk to your doctor if the dizziness is severe or it hasn’t gone away after several days.

Another frequent cause of balance problems is blood pressure that’s too elevated. High blood pressure causes your heart to work harder than it should have to.

Along with dizziness, this condition can give you visual problems that can compound your balance issues. If you suspect you have blood pressure that’s spiking, talk to your doctor about treatment options. It’s a condition that can be managed so that you live your life without balance issues.

Inner ear problems are common as people age and are another overlooked reason for balance issues. The inside of your ear has a delicate system that helps you stay balanced.  

If something happens to that delicate system, it can make you feel like the room is spinning - but that doesn’t mean the condition is permanent. Even a simple problem like inflammation of the inner ear can make it hard for you to keep your balance.

Blood sugar issues can also cause balance problems. You can experience dizziness and vertigo with high or low blood sugar levels. It’s important that your doctor monitors your blood sugar levels since some people with high blood sugar go on to develop Type 2 Diabetes.

Something else that can cause balance problems as you get older is a lack of oxygen to the brain. This can be caused by the brain not getting the blood supply it needs.

It happens because, as you get older, the blood vessels in your legs lose tension, which allows blood to pool rather than flow to the brain and the heart the way that it should. If this is the cause of your balance issues, there is also medication that can help treat this.  Let your doc check you out and see what can be done!  

Comments

Gregg Birkner

Nice article. One thing that has helped my 80-year-old Mother cope better with her lack of balance as she ages is to gently bounce without moving her feet off the mat 2 to 3 minutes at a time on a high-quality mini-trampoline with a stabilizing / balance bar. She's tried a few different rebounders including the ones you buy at retail stores and really enjoys the one that she is using now called the Cellerciser. Just thought I would pass that along.

Ann

Thanks, Gregg! I've been using a rebounder for the last 20 years or so... rebounding and walking are the most sustainable forms of exercise for me and I plan to keep on doing 'em until I can't do 'em any longer!

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