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Dealing with Dizziness and Vertigo

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Kutz Senior Living
Select Rehabilitation

Dizziness and vertigo can happen at any age, but if it results in falling it can be a serious health concern, particularly in the older adult. It is important to note that dizziness, vertigo and imbalance are not a normal part of aging. Some experts believe that more than 40 percent of Americans will experience dizziness/vertigo that is serious enough to go to a healthcare provider. Its prevalence increases with age, with 54% of older adults over 90 years old experiencing dizziness/vertigo. Dizziness/vertigo problems are among the most common reasons that older adults seek help from a healthcare provider. Dizziness/vertigo can lead to disequilibrium, fear of falling, inactivity, and increased fall risk. Dizziness/vertigo is a major contributing factor of falls in older adults. In many older adults, such falls lead to moderate to severe injuries, such as a hip fracture, that limits mobility and reduces independent living.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ADOBE STOCK

Dizziness in older adults is rarely caused by a single etiology. Many individuals are interested to learn that the source of their dizziness may be because of an inner ear or vestibular problem. Dizziness due to a vestibular dysfunction are reported in about 9 percent of the population who are 65 years of age or older. Some dizziness and balance conditions are also due to neurological conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Vestibular Neuritis and Cervical Vertigo. Other miscellaneous conditions that cause dizziness and balance problems can be Meniere ’s syndrome, psychological disturbances, migraines, circulation problems, and medication use.

There are things you can do to ease dizziness/vertigo symptoms when they are happening. First, sit or lie down immediately when you begin to feel dizzy. You may want to lie in a quiet, dark room to reduce the spinning feeling. At night, sleep with your head slightly raised on 2 or more pillows. In the morning, get out of bed slowly and sit on the edge of the bed for a while before standing up. It is important to try to relax. Anxiety can make dizziness/vertigo worse.

How can therapy help? A therapist will perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of symptoms and devise a unique treatment plan to eliminate or minimize dizziness and its consequences. If the origin of the dizziness is from the inner ear, vestibular rehabilitation may be indicated. The goals of vestibular rehabilitation include reducing fall risk, screening for and correcting the vestibular disorder, stabilizing balance, retraining the proprioceptive system, improving gaze stability, gait training, and enabling optimal function. Research demonstrates that vestibular rehabilitation is just as successful in remediating symptoms in the older adults as in a younger population.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

Select Rehabilitation Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists offers onsite therapy services at Kutz Senior Living Campus. Our rehab team is here to help. Contact us today at (302) 757-8115 or visit us online at www.kutzseniorliving.org.

Kutz Senior Living Campus is home to both Lodge Lane Assisted Living & Memory Care along with Kutz Rehabilitation & Nursing.  Together, the two buildings share 11 acres of beautifully sprawling grounds where seniors can receive short-term rehabilitation, skilled nursing, assisted living and memory care services.  Located on the parklands within the quaint town of Bellefonte of Northern Delaware, Kutz Senior Living Campus is Wilmington’s best kept secret.

KUTZ SENIOR LIVING CAMPUS

704 River Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19809

Phone (302) 757-8115

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