BOSTON, MA – Balance tends to erode with age, which can lead to
falls. For older people, falls are the leading cause of death from
injury and a major cause of disability. Even if a fall doesn’t cause
severe damage, it increases the chances of another fall. Yet falls
aren’t an inevitable consequence of growing older. It’s possible to
regain equilibrium and compensate for permanent balance deficits,
reports the August issue of the Harvard Health Letter.
reports from our eyes, ears, and central nervous system can affect our
balance. But balance can also suffer from such disorders as these:
- Neurological conditions. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and strokes are among those that can affect balance.
- Diabetes. Nerve damage in the feet makes it difficult to walk.
- Vertigo. This sensation of dizziness may come from ear disorders or simply from the aging of the inner ear’s balance system.
- Postural hypotension. A drop in blood pressure when you sit up or stand up can cause lightheadedness and even fainting.
- Foot problems. Corns, bunions, and hammertoes are both a cause and a result of uneven balance.
diseases. Cataracts and glaucoma are stealthy thieves of sight and
balance. Balance nearly always improves after successful cataract
- Medications. Sedatives, blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, and antihistamines are among those that may cause dizziness.
To retain or regain your balance, the Harvard Health Letter
suggests that you get active to maintain the neural connections
necessary for good balance, improve your posture so you won’t be apt to
fall, and maintain your strength for a good foundation.