Loss Of Balance



Loss of Balance is a condition that makes you feel unsteady or dizzy. If you are standing, sitting, or lying down, you might feel as if you are moving, spinning, or floating. If you are walking, you might suddenly feel as if you are tipping over. Everyone has a dizzy spell now and then, but the term “dizziness” can mean different things to different people. For one person, dizziness might mean a fleeting feeling of faintness, while for another it could be an intense sensation of spinning (vertigo) that lasts a long time. About 15 percent of adults have a balance or dizziness problem Loss of balance can be caused by certain health conditions, medications, or a problem in the inner ear or the brain. A balance disorder can profoundly affect daily activities and cause psychological and emotional hardship.

Common Causes Of Loss Of Balance Include:

Loss of balance can occur for a range of reasons, including ear infections, head injuries, medication, and neurological disorders. However, if a person has a condition that affects the brain or inner ear, they may experience a loss of balance, spinning sensations, unsteadiness, lightheadedness, or dizziness. Balance problems can be caused by several different conditions. The cause of balance problems is usually related to a specific sign or symptom.

Sense of motion or spinning (vertigo). Vertigo can be associated with many conditions, including:

·        Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

·        Vestibular neuritis.

·        Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness

·        Meniere's disease.

·        Migraine.

·        Acoustic neuroma

·        Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

·        Head injury.

·        Motion sickness.

Feeling of faintness or lightheadedness. Lightheadedness can be associated with:

·        Hemodynamic orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension).

·        Cardiovascular disease.

Loss of balance or unsteadiness. Losing your balance while walking, or feeling imbalanced, can result from:

·        Vestibular problemsark.

·        Nerve damage to your legs (peripheral neuropathy).

·        Joint, muscle or vision problems.

·        Side effect of Medications.

·        Certain neurological conditions.

Dizziness. A sense of dizziness or lightheadedness can result from:

·        Inner ear problems.

·        Psychiatric disorders.

·        Abnormally rapid breathing (hyperventilation).

·        Medications. Lightheadedness can be a side effect of medications.

Risk Factors Associated With Loss Of Balance

Loss of balance is relatively common, but some people are more prone to it than others. This problem is particularly prevalent in adults, injured persons and older adults above the age of 65 years. The following factors can put anyone at an increased risk of developing balance disorder

Viral infections. Any individual suffering from some acute viral infections may have a high chance of developing balance disorder.

 Ear problem. Persons suffering from persistent inner ear problems have a high chance of developing loss of balance-related problems.

Head Injuries. Anyone who had suffered a serious head injury can suffer from the symptoms of a balance disorder.

Age. Age is one of the contributing factors for developing loss of balance. Old age person more than 65 years of age often suffer from balance disorders.

Blood Pressure. Hypertension and hypotension are the common causes of developing the symptoms of balance disorder.

Preventive Measures

If you have vertigo, dizziness, nausea, unsteadiness, or any other balance problem, make your home or your older loved one’s as safe as possible to prevent a fall.

Most balance problems are difficult to prevent. However, you can address those that are associated with blood pressure issues. You can prevent balance disorders that are associated with low blood pressure by drinking more water and avoiding alcohol. Avoid high blood pressure by exercising regularly, limiting your salt intake, and maintaining a healthy weight.

The positive part is that balance is a motor skill that can be maintained and even improved with exercises that keep your hips, knees, and ankles strong.

When To Seek Medical Help?

There are different types of causes associated with loss of balance. Some of them are treated with little medications at home while others may require an expert intervention To help you decide whether to seek medical help for dizziness or balance problems, check if you feel symptoms like:

·         If you feel unsteady.

·         If you feel as the room is spinning around you, even for a very brief time

·         If you feel as you are moving when I know I'm sitting or standing still?

·         If you lose your balance and fall

·         If you feel as you are falling

·         If you did  feel lightheaded or as you might faint

·         If you have blurred vision?

·         If you ever feel disoriented—losing your sense of time or location.

Treatment Overview

Your doctor will start by reviewing your medical history and conducting a physical and neurological examination. To determine if your symptoms are caused by problems in the balance function in your inner ear, your doctor is likely to recommend tests. They might include:

·        Hearing tests. Difficulties with hearing are frequently associated with balance problems.

·        Post urography test.

·        Electronystagmography and videonystagmography.

·        Rotary chair test.

·        Dix-Hall pike maneuver.

·        Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials test.

·        Imaging tests. MRI and CT scans.

·        Blood pressure and heart rate tests.

Treatment depends on the cause of your balance problems. Your treatment may include:

·        Balance retraining exercises (vestibular rehabilitation). Therapists trained in balance problems design a customized program of balance retraining and exercises. Therapy can help you compensate for imbalance, adapt to less balance and maintain physical activity.

·        Positioning procedures. If you have BPPV, a therapist might conduct a procedure (canalith repositioning) that clears particles out of your inner ear and deposits them into a different area of your ear. The procedure involves maneuvering the position of your head.

·        Diet and lifestyle changes. If you have Meniere's disease or migraines, dietary changes are often suggested that can ease symptoms. You may need to limit salt intake and avoid other dietary triggers such as caffeine, alcohol and certain ingredients. If you experience postural hypotension, you might need to drink more fluids or wear compression stockings.

·        Medications. If you have severe vertigo that lasts hours or days, you might be prescribed medications that can control dizziness and vomiting.


Physiotherapy Treatment For Loss Of Balance/Balance Disorder

Physiotherapists can provide a thorough assessment and provide a diagnosis with an appropriate treatment plan. It takes time to improve balance and can have potential risks if not supervised and professional instructions are not followed. It is essential that the correct diagnosis is made first before any exercises are done. The treatment should only be started after a consultation with a doctor with experience of dizziness, balance disorders and gait disorders. The exercises must be appropriate for the diagnosis.Physiotherapy can help improve balance through Environmental advice, Exercises to challenge balance and Progression of exercise programs to improve balance. Certain musculoskeletal treatments and coaching strategies also help in treating balance disorders. Some of them include:

·        Balance exercises

·        Proprioceptive exercises

·        Mobility over different terrain

·        Advice

·        Walking aid provision

·        Vestibular Rehabilitation

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