Deborah Heart and Lung Center Urges Residents to Get Balance Screenings During Fall Prevention Month
Did you know that the number one reason for a hospital emergency room visit is injury from accidental falls? This is especially evident among the elderly. Balance allows you to maintain a desired position without feeling unsteady. A balance disorder is a disturbance that causes an individual to feel unsteady or shaky. Symptoms of a balance disorder could include blurry vision, light-headedness, or anxiety and vertigo causing extreme dizziness and nausea. Many falls stem from dizziness caused by impairment to the vestibular system (which helps us stand upright, maintain balance, and move correctly by coordinating information between the brain, inner ear, and eyes), as well as viral or bacterial infections, a head injury, or certain medications.
The staff at Deborah Heart and Lung Center is reminding residents that loss of balance is a treatable condition, and not simply a natural part of getting older. The professionals at Deborah are urging all residents to pause and assess their balance skills during Fall Prevention Month, and are spreading the message that preventing dizziness is not only possible, but the very best way to prevent against unnecessary falls and injuries.
Deborah’s Balance Center’ s Medical Director, Michael Nolledo, M.D., said that a series of simple tests which record and analyze various eye movements, ear nerves, and gait and coordination, can often determine the cause of dizziness. With this information, a team approach can be put into place to identify the best treatment option, that might include using a balance board – and even Wii – to correct the problem.
“There are increasing incidences of people with lightheadedness and instability,” Dr. Nolledo said. “People shouldn’t take for granted that dizzy spells are a natural part of getting older. Most of the time there is an actual treatable condition that has simply not been diagnosed.” Dr. Nolledo urges all residents who are experiencing symptoms to see their primary care physician, or visit www.deborah.org for more information. In addition, as part of Deborah’s Community Outreach, the hospital’s Balance Assessment Team is available for site group visits at your active adult community or civic association.
For more information, or to schedule a visit, call Tina St. John Bialt at 609-893-1200 ext. 8010.