One of the less attractive features of age experienced by many of us boomers is the feeling that the room is spinning. And, no, this sensation has nothing to do with the questionable practice of “blowing our minds.” Almost 15 percent of us suffer some type of dizziness. This feeling can be disconcerting to say the least.
According to the NIH, people are likely to have more balance issues as we age. These can be a result of problems in the inner ear. More serious issues may be symptoms of problems with the heart or brain. For example, diseases of the circulatory system, such as stroke, can cause dizziness and other balance problems. Smoking and diabetes can increase the risk of stroke. Low blood pressure can also cause dizziness.
Diet and lifestyle can help combat the feeling of dizziness. Balance problems due to high blood pressure can be managed by eating less salt (less sodium), maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising. Balance problems due to low blood pressure may be managed by drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, avoiding alcohol, and being cautious regarding your body’s posture and movement, such as standing up slowly and avoiding crossing your legs when you’re seated.
If you’ve been experiencing these less than comfortable sensations, you can take measures to feel more steady on your feet. As the NIH suggests:
If you think you may have a balance disorder, talk with your health care provider. Your doctor can assess whether your symptoms might be caused by a serious disorder, such as a heart or blood condition. If an inner ear balance disorder is likely, you may be referred to a specialist such as an otolaryngologist, a doctor with expertise in the ear, nose and throat. You might receive a hearing test, a balance test and possibly an imaging study of the brain.
So check out the article in NIH News In Health, learn the ways you can manage your dizzy spells and get back to feeling fit and feisty–minus the spinning room!