STRONG LEGS BEAT WEAK EARS
As we age, problems with balance become increasingly common. Who doesn’t know someone in their 70s who looks like they are teetering on the verge of a fall? The reason for this is usually a combination of factors. However, inner ear problems are a major factor in balance dysfunction and become increasingly common as we age.
Inner ear problems in younger age groups can make your life miserable. However, usually younger patients with inner ear balance problems do not fall. On the other hand, for older patients, inner ear balance problems are a common cause for falls. The most important reason why older patients fall and younger patients don’t? Strong legs.
Falls in the elderly are a huge cause of morbidity and mortality. Fractures of the long bones in the elderly, especially of the hip, result in prolonged period of immobility and an increased death rate. A recent Finnish study reported that among hip fractures in those over 65 years old, the death rate is 27.3 percent within the first year and 79 percent total mortality for the study duration.
In our practice, we see many older patients with balance problems, vertigo and dizziness. Our goal is not just to improve their inner ear balance function, but to improve their overall balance and prevent falls. What we recommend varies from non-medical treatments, medications and sometimes surgical treatments to attain this goal, depending on the individual case. However, one thing that we recommend to all patients is to walk every day in order to strengthen their legs. Strong legs will help keep them from falling, even when the inner ears are giving them problems.
Strong legs beat weak ears.
-As seen in Sophisticated Woman Magazine