In order for you to walk, run and stay balanced, your eyes, ears and various sensors (vision, vestibular and somatosensory) continuously work together throughout the body to keep you upright. The brain rapidly assesses messages from each of these three systems and corrects for any deviation that would put the body outside the limits of sway. When these systems aren’t working to their full potential, it can result in dizziness, falling and many other medical conditions.
As we get older falling can become more dangerous to our overall health. 20% of those over 65 that fall are injured, and 30% of people over 65 fall yearly. It is shown that having a fear of falling actually increases your risk of falling (National Safety Council). We want to help you prevent falls, and keep your balance at it’s full potential!
Here’s what you can do to help prevent falls!
- Begin a regular exercies program: This is one of the most important ways you can lower your chance of falling. By making your body stronger and healthier, you are increasing your balance system. Workout regimes that include programs such as Tai Chi or Yoga are most helpful.
- Have your health care provider review your medicines: As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines or combinations of medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy and cause you to fall. Even if the medicine is over the counter, make sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist on the drugs reactions.
- Have your vision checked: Poor vision can increase your chances of falling. It is recommended to have an annual eye exam to ensure you are using the right prescription.
- Make your home safer: Half of all falls happen at the home. It’s important to make your home safe by removing things you can trip over, adding double sided tape to rugs that slip, making items easier to reach in cabinets, improving the lighting in your home, and wearing shoes both inside and outside the home to increase stability.
If you notice any continual dizzy feelings it’s important to contact your physician or audiologist for further testing. They’ll help assess what’s wrong and help create a plan toward recovery.