By the Numbers
September is National Balance Awareness Month. Every year millions of older adults fall. In fact, more than one in four people over age 65 will fall every year. Less than 50% of those people will report falling to their doctors. Falls have a significant impact on the individual, their families and the entire community.
It’s Not Just Falling
Another important thing to remember is that not everyone who has difficulty with balance will actually fall. Some people describe tripping, stumbling, feeling dizzy, swaying, falling into objects, difficulty walking in a straight line or simply feeling “off”. You may feel like your balance is fine when you are standing still, but you may have more difficulty when waking and trying to do multiple things at the same time.
Balance relies on your vision, your inner ear, your muscular system, and your proprioception (your body’s ability to tell where it is in space). If one of these systems is not working correctly, it will result in difficulty with your balance.
Factors Affecting Balance
There are many different factors that can cause difficulty with your balance including:
- Muscle weakness
- Joint stiffness
- Inner ear problems
- Decreased activity levels
- Some medical conditions
- Fear of falling
Prevention is Key
Taking steps to prevent falls and improve your balance is essential to your health and wellness. Look around your house and make sure that you have proper lighting and clear pathways. Avoid excessive clutter. Visit your eye doctor regularly. Maintain your strength, balance, and endurance. If you have had a fall or you are having difficulty with balance, we would love to help. Contact our office today to schedule a balance assessment.