Balance problems are among the most common reasons that older adults go to the doctor. In 2008, 33.4 million Americans had balance issues. Good balance is important to staying independent and active. There are many causes of balance disorders and many ways to treat them. Treatments vary depending on the cause. If you or someone you love is experiencing dizziness, vertigo or other problems with balance, make an appointment with your doctor.
Additional Balance Tips
- Daily balance exercises like heel-toe walking or standing on one leg are easy ways to enhance balance. Adding a cognitive element, such as reciting the alphabet backwards while standing on one leg, can improve functional balance and allows active seniors to work on completing daily tasks without focusing on their balance issues.
- Active video gaming (or “exergaming”) can also improve balance. The fun and challenge associated with games like Wii Fit motivate older adults since they offer more than just exercise.
- Balance is actually a function of the labyrinth, a hollow cavity deep inside the ear that is comprised of the cochlea and the vestibular system. The vestibular system is responsible for balance. As alcohol can cause alterations in the vestibular system, possibly resulting in vertigo, alcoholic drinks should be limited for consistently strong balance.
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