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Check out these newly released Special Health Reports from Harvard Medical School
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You can't buy good health but you can buy good health information. Check out these newly released Special Health Reports from Harvard Medical School:

Medical conditions can rob you of your balance

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.

Conflicting 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.
  • Eye diseases. Cataracts and glaucoma are stealthy thieves of sight and balance. Balance nearly always improves after successful cataract surgery.
  • 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.

Also in this issue of the Harvard Health Letter

  • The Heimlich maneuver
  • The Epley Maneuver
  • Our balancing act
  • A breathtaking experience
  • By gum, it might be good for you
  • In Brief: What if it were fruit or vegetables?
  • In Brief: Cigar smoke-filled rooms
  • In Brief: Viagra may help with cold feet and hands
  • In Brief: Video games aren't so bad
  • By the way, doctor: Is there an alternative to atenolol for atrial fibrillation?
  • By the way, doctor: Any help on the horizon for chronic fatigue syndrome?

More Harvard Health News »


About Harvard Health Publications

Harvard Health Publications publishes four monthly newsletters--Harvard Health Letter, Harvard Women's Health Watch, Harvard Men's Health Watch, and Harvard Heart Letter--as well as more than 50 special health reports and books drawing on the expertise of the 8,000 faculty physicians at Harvard Medical School and its world-famous affiliated hospitals.