Balance Awareness Week 2022

Posted on: 12/09/2022

Now in its 25th year, Balance Awareness Week is an annual awareness campaign to broaden the public’s understanding of balance-related vestibular disorders. The aim of Balance Awareness Week is to ensure that people who lose their balance can be more rapidly diagnosed, effectively treated, and gain the support they need from friends, family, and colleagues.

This year’s theme is ‘raising awareness’ which we hope this article does!

What are vestibular disorders?
The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movements. If the system is damaged by disease, aging, or injury, vestibular disorders can result in symptoms including dizziness, imbalance, vertigo and tinnitus.

Commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include Vestibular migraine, Labyrinthitis and Ménière’s disease.

How many people do vestibular disorders affect?
It has been estimated that 40% of the population, at some point in their lifetime, will experience some form of balance or vestibular disorder.

What causes imbalance in older people?
Good balance requires reliable sensory input from the vision, vestibular system and proprioceptors (sensors of position and movement in the feet and legs). Older people are prone to a variety of diseases that affect these systems, including:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Macular degeneration

Balance is also dependent on muscle strength, joint mobility, and healthy feet. A sedentary lifestyle, painful arthritis or diseases of bones and muscles can compromise strength, mobility, and the base of foot support.

Can this increase the risk of falling?
Yes it can. One of the leading health concerns for people over the age of 60 is falling, which is often related to balance problems. For further information on falls and how to prevent them, click here

At Progress Lifeline we offer a comprehensive falls prevention package to give you peace of mind should you lose your balance, resulting in a fall. To find out how this could benefit you, click hereor call us on 03333 204999.