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5 Common Balance Disorders That Can Lead to Falls

Senior with a Headache

Falls present one of the biggest threats to senior health and wellness, and are a leading cause of injury and death in American seniors. Therefore, fall prevention is a priority for families with elderly loved ones, as well as the senior healthcare industry. Balance disorders can make falls far more likely, resulting in trips to the emergency room, expensive operations and long recoveries. Here’s a guide to common balance disorders from our assisted living team in Gloucester County, NJ:

  1. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or positional vertigo. This is a form of vertigo triggered by a specific change in the position of your head. It can be very intense, but brief, and you may feel like you are spinning. This can occur when you bend down to look under something, roll over in bed or look up and behind you. It can result from head trauma or simply age.
  2.  Ménière’s disease. This is a condition characterized by episodes of hearing loss, vertigo, buzzing in the ear, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. The cause is unknown, but may have something to do with the change of fluid volume in the ear. There are some treatment options available, from pressure pulse treatment to surgery.
  3.  Labyrinthitis. This infection of the inner ear can cause dizziness and loss of balance. It can occur as the result of an upper respiratory infection, like the flu, so it is especially important to watch for in seniors who have or are recovering from these conditions.
  4. Vestibular neuronitus. This is caused by a viral infection that causes the vestibular nerve to become inflamed.
  5.  Perilymph fistula. This condition occurs when fluid leaks from the inner ear into the middle ear, causing unsteadiness that usually increases with increased activity, as well as dizziness and nausea. It can be caused in seniors after being exposed to dramatic changes in air pressure, head trauma, ear infections of even as a surgical complication.

If you are noticing increased dizziness, ringing in the ears or balance issues with yourself or an elderly loved one, it is important to visit your doctor. The condition itself may not be serious, but a fall that results from a balance problem can be severe. It’s always better to be safe!

Comfortable, Professional Assisted Living in NJ with a Community Spirit 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high quality assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care and memory care and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at https://umcommunities.org/pitman/ contact us today or book a personal tour.

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    205 Jumping Brook Road
    Neptune, NJ 07753
    Phone: 732-922-9800