Balance Awareness Week, Sept. 13 – 19, was started by the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA), to increase awareness about vestibular disorders and support patients in their journey back to balance. CNC Hearing and Balance Center’s Sarah McGuire, MSN, APRN discussed the risks of balance disorders and why it is so important to have them corrected:
There’s four parts to your balance system: there’s input from your eyes; input from your ears; input from your muscles and your joints and then your brain has to wrap all of that information together.
If you have a breakdown in just one of those systems, it can be enough to throw you a little
bit off balance. If you are in a challenging environment such as dimly lit room or dark bedroom and if you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, that can be enough to throw you off.
If you have a vision problem, such as cataracts your eyes or other condition that affects your vision, that right there puts you at greater risk for falling.
If you have a condition called peripheral neuropathy which can be associated with diabetes and you don’t have good sensation on the bottom of your feet, that can also put you at greater risk.
Problems affecting your inner ear can cause balance problems – such as retaining extra fluid
in your inner ear or you have some sort of a viral infection.
If you have a history of a stroke, something going on with your brain or with your spinal column, all of those things can put you at greater risk of falling.
If you have a balance or dizziness issue, contact CNC Hearing and Balance Center at 504-934-8320 or online at cnchearing.com for an evaluation.