February 10, 2022

5 Potential Causes of Balance Disorders

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Having trouble keeping one’s balance is one of the chief concerns when it comes to mobility as we age. It’s estimated that around 25% of seniors have balance problems, which can cause problems when walking and lead to debilitating falls.

While maintaining strength through exercise and other activities like tai chi is important to retain balance, issues can oftentimes be a side effect of a different health issue.

Centers Health Care has a look at five potential causes of balance disorders.

  1. Inner Ear Problems

This is the most common cause of balance problems. The whole structure, called the vestibular system, sends information on body movements and your position to the brain. Problems within the system can send false information, leading to a dizzy or lightheaded feeling. Simple clogs are often the culprit, so having an ENT check your ears is a good place to start if you’re having problems.

  1. Vision Problems

Your eyes also interact with the vestibular system to send information to the brain. Problems with depth perception and disorders like double vision can lead to balance problems.

  1. Stress and Anxiety

A period of heightened stress or anxiety can cause the brain to lose some automatic balance reflexes, and hyperventilating can cause balance issues because the brain isn’t getting enough oxygen.

  1. Cardiovascular Issues

While it may not seem like a common cause, the lack of blood flow to all of your systems can lead to balance issues. Low blood pressure can also cause issues when changing positions—sitting to standing or laying down to sitting, for example.

  1. Medication Side Effects

Antihistamines can cause balance problems by changing the pressure in your ears and head. Blood pressure medications, sleep aids, sedatives, antidepressants, and narcotics also frequently list balance problems or dizziness as a side effect. Having a talk with your doctor about your balance issues may lead to medication as the likely culprit.

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