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What’s Causing Your Loss of Balance?

What’s Causing Your Loss of Balance?
July 13
10:25 2018

Aging wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for all of the physical and health problems that come with aging. One of those is a loss of balance or one’s sense of balance isn’t as good as it used to.

I can testify to that. In my teen years, I rode saddle broncs and bulls. Trust me, you have to have a great sense of balance. I could run forever on a railroad track or the top of a wooden fence without falling. I used to easily trot over the slippery stones that cross many a stream or creek, and I never fell in.

I’m now 66 and find that if I turn to quickly, look straight up at the sky or down a flight of stairs, I often lose my sense of balance. Looking down a flight of stairs causing everything to start spinning to the left. Sometimes, I can feel like I lose my sense of balance walking across a room. However, I know why my sense of balance is not what it used to be and that’s because 2 years ago, I suddenly developed severe bout of vertigo. It’s better, but I still have issues with it.

The inner ear is our balance control and a number of ear issues can affect the sense balance. Even an inner ear infection can throw off one’s sense of balance, but not every balance issue is linked to the ears.

At 89-years of age, my mother-in-law went to the pantry and when she turned to walk away, she lost her sense of balance and fell. She suffered from severe osteoporosis and had lost 6 inches in height due to the disease, and when she fell, she broke her hip. She required surgery which went well, but while still in the hospital recovering from the surgery, she passed away. We found out after the fact that she was having heart problems and the doctor said that was the cause of her dizziness and ultimately the cause of her death.

Yes, heart problems can have a major impact on one’s sense of balance, especially as they get older. With heart problems, sometimes the brain doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood, which can result in dizziness and loss of balance.

Other things that can cause loss of balance are as simple as a viral or bacterial infection, a head injury or bump on the head, and low blood pressure. Did you know that arthritis can have an effect on your sense of balance as can vision problems? When your eyes can’t focus properly, your brain has a difficult time sensing distances and position in the universe, resulting in a loss of balance. There are also some skeletal and neurological issues that can impact your sense of balance. In some cases, it may be the result of an issue with the muscles of the eye. Furthermore, some medications can cause an issue with one’s sense of balance.

However, in many older people, sometimes a loss of balance is due to poor muscle tone. As we age, our muscle mass decreases and we have to work harder to keep what muscle mass we have left toned. When older folks become more sedentary, they lose muscles tone and the lose their sense of balance.

If you are having a balance issue, it may be caused by a number of things or a combination of things. It’s important to talk to someone and ask for help in determining what’s causing your balance issues. It may be something simple and easy to remedy and it may be a sign of something more serious that needs to be addressed.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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