Issuu on Google+

Factors Affecting Balance in the Elderly Population There are a number of factors that contribute to the amount of balance an individual has when they are standing or walking. Good balance needs a sensory input that is reliable from the person’s vision, inner ear balance and sense of movement and position for the legs and feet. Elderly individuals are more susceptible to numerous diseases affecting these systems, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which all cause problems with vision. Senses in your legs and feet are affected by diabetic peripheral neuropathy, as well as a slow decrease in the vestibular system. Balance also depends upon having joint mobility and exceptional muscle strength. If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, having arthritis, or bone and muscle disease, it will play a key part in mobility and strength of your muscles. Since balance is a rather complex function, there is not necessarily one specific cause attributed to an elderly person falling. An older individual with a history of imbalance or chronic bouts of dizziness is considered two to three times more prone to falling when compared to someone who does not have those problems. There are numerous causes that can contribute to a feeling of dizziness and lightheadedness, as well as a mild sense of vertigo. It could be anything from a disorder of the inner ear, issues with the central nervous system, problems with the cardiac system, low blood sugar, hyper-ventilation, infection, side effects from medications or a bad interaction with medication and an inadequate or imbalanced diet. A thorough evaluation is often required in an attempt to be able to determine all of the potential causes and end up with a proper diagnosis.

4747 Nesconset Hwy., Port Jefferson Station, New York 11776 Phone : (631) 378-0061 Website : www.EastEndHearing.com


When there is more than one problem present, the task can become that much more complicated. In these cases, the amount of trouble within one system may not be as severe, but the effects might combine with enough issues to cause a serious issue with your balance. An elderly person suffering from arthritis in their ankles and a mild form of degeneration in their vestibular functions may have ample balance until they go into an operation for removing their cataracts. The change in their vision throughout the healing process and the necessary adjustment to their new contacts or glasses may be sufficient enough to cause an imbalance that makes them fall.

4747 Nesconset Hwy., Port Jefferson Station, New York 11776 Phone : (631) 378-0061 Website : www.EastEndHearing.com


Factors Affecting Balance in the Elderly Population