Balance, Inner Ear Problems, and the Value of Chiropractic Care

Santa Barbara Chiropractor: 10 Most Frequent Questions

Good balance is crucial for an individual to be able to regulate and keep body position while in motion or staying still. Good balance helps someone to walk without wobbling, arise from a sitting position without falling, and to climb stairs without slipping.

About 9 percent of adults, age 65 and older, report having challenges with balance. Good balance is essential in assisting an older person to stay independent, and to carry out daily chores and activities. Dizziness, “wooziness,” and difficulties with balance are experienced by quite a few persons as they grow older.

The term, vertigo, applies to the feeling that a number of people have that they, themselves, or their environment is spinning. About 40 percent of Americans will encounter dizziness that is severe enough to go to a doctor. And, among older adults, falls are the leading cause of serious injury and deaths.

Balance and Inner Ear Problems

Three types of balance disorders that are most prevalent are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, labyrinthitis, and Meniere’s disease, though there are a variety of other types of balance disorders. Of these three, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common. It presents as a brief, intense feeling of vertigo when an individual changes head position. It can also be noticed when rolling over to the left or right in bed, upon arising in the morning, or when looking up for an object on a high shelf. This condition is more likely to happen in people 60 and older, although it can also take place in younger individuals.

The causes for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo are multifarious. It may be created by an inner ear infection, head injury, or simply aging. Often times a simple Epleys procedure can correct the condition, but it can be linked to other disease processes. Your Santa Barbara Chiropractor has many years of experience in this procedure.

Labyrinthitis is an infection or iinflammation of the inner ear that produces dizziness and loss of balance. It affects adults of any age and the cause is currently undiscovered.

Ménière’s disease is a balance disorder that produces vertigo, hearing loss inconsistent, tinnitus (ringing or roaring in the ears), and a “full feeling” in the ear.

Even though older individuals are more likely to encounter balance disorders, age is not the only explanation for why these problems take place. Depending on the cause of the balance disorder, care will vary. Sometimes, there’s a simple answer to balance disorders, such as simple exercises for vestibular rehab. A chiropractor is well-educated in assessing and treating a number of balance problems. Consult a health care professional, such as your Santa Barbara Chiropractor, if you have undergone, or are currently experiencing, dizziness, vertigo, or other abnormalities with balance.

Not every balance disorders are caused by complications in the inner ear. A small number may involve other areas of the body such as the brain or heart. Head injury, stroke, certain medicines, circulation challenges, upper respiratory infections and other viral infections, stress, fatigue, smoking, alcohol use,  high or low blood pressure, and heart disease are all components that, along with aging and ear infection, may cause balance disorders.

Balance disorders created by high blood pressure can generally be managed by less sodium intake,sustaining a healthy weight, and exercise. To help in making the symptoms of dizziness less acute, generally eating low-salt or salt-free foods, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol, will help.

Balance disorders are significant. It is the most prevalent cause of falls and fall-related injuries in older people. It is crucial to have a suspected balance disorder accessed and treated as soon as possible.

If you can answer “yes” to any of the questions listed below, you should discuss the symptom(s) with your chiropractor:

• Do you have the feeling of being “unsteady?”

• Does the room seem to spin around you?

• Is there ever a time when you feel as if you are moving when you know you are standing still?

• Do you lose your balance and/or fall?

• Do you feel as if you are falling?

• Does your vision ever become “blurred?”

• Do you ever feel disoriented, or lose a sense of time, place or identify?

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Call your chiropractor today.

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