Your body’s ability to balance is dependent upon the vestibular organs found in your inner ear. Signals pass from this organ to the vestibular nerve and then on to the brain. Your inner ear contains fluid that, when disturbed, can send messages to your brain that there’s an abnormality. In response, your body may react with dizziness, vertigo, or other balance disorders. Unfortunately, when you’re unable to balance, this increases your risk of falling and injuring yourself. At Taylor Internal Medicine, we can asses whether or not you’re at risk for falling and help you determine the cause of your balance issues.
Factors That Contribute to Fall Risk
Other factors, aside from inner ear disruptions, that can contribute to the increased likelihood of falling include:
- Assistive devices
- Alcohol or drugs
- Acute illness
- Age-related changes
- Cognitive deficits
- Sensory deficits
- Chronic conditions
- Personal behavior or choices
- Gait, strength, or balance deficits
- Home or neighborhood features
When determining balance-related issues, our goal is to perform a fall risk assessment, as well as any other necessary tests, to best understand the factors that put you at risk for falling. Even if you’re not specifically concerned with your risk of falling, living with a balance disorder can hinder your quality of life.