Health Conditions That Cause Balance Disorder
Even though, balance wears away quite naturally and gradually with age, several conditions can disturb your equilibrium if they affect another bodily system that helps to maintain proper stability. Here are some common conditions that can mess with your sense of balance…
Uncontrolled diabetes can have a severe effect on the body—causing vision problems, improper functioning kidneys, nerve damage, oral issues, and troubles with balance. Instability typically results from a combination of loss of sensation, or nerve damage and inadequate blood flow to the bottoms of the feet. Unfortunately, unmanaged diabetes can cause serious blood vessel and/or nerve damage, which can ultimately result in severe foot problems and amputation.
It is said that “the ear bone is connected to the eye bone”. That is why the vestibular system, a mazelike bony structure in the ear impacts your vision and works to maintain a proper balance. According to balance disorder specialists at Portland’s Oregon Health & Science University, this is the reason why a simple ear infection can cause Vertigo; an unsteady sensation from any condition affecting the inner ear and overall balance.
If you’ve ever suffered from a severe migraine, you can very well understand how the pain can cause motion sickness, vision issues, and even disruptions in balance as the sufferer becomes extremely sensitive to light and sound. Dizziness usually occurs when the body’s visual information system is unable to properly process exterior stimuli through the brain, needed to maintain a proper balance. Findings published in the Journal of Vestibular Research pointed to migraine-associated vertigo, a condition that, like traditional migraines, causes spasms, relaxed blood vessels, and alters blood flow in the brain. However, rather than targeting pain centres, migraine-associated vertigo attacks balance areas of the brain, causing instability.
Foot Pain and Foot Conditions
A very obvious cause of balance issues can be placed on a series of common foot conditions. Food problems—ranging from bunions to corns and hammertoes to foot pain—can all add up with steady footing and increase the chances of a slip and fall.
Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure, an acute condition known as hypotension, occurs when blood pressure in the arteries is low and the brain is robbed of oxygen-rich blood. As a result, light-headedness occurs, causing impaired spatial awareness and dizziness and fainting if sufferers sit or stand up too quickly. Those with low blood pressure typically read under 90/60.
Issues originating in the nervous system can be the reason for many postural and balance problems. For example; Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or other ataxia-related disorders (atrophy of the brain’s cerebellum cells) patients often experience a decline in muscle control in the legs and arms, resulting in loss of balance, and decreasing posture, coordination, and equilibrium.
While most medications are prescribed to help and heal us—many drugs carry side effects that can cause unfavourable condition for our balance. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point to certain sedatives, antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure medications that have been linked to vision issues, drowsiness, dizziness, and to causing damage to the inner ear.
We have already established that certain conditions can severely affect our vision and lead to balance issues (i.e. Diabetes). However, the eyes themselves can also be the sole reason for dizziness and loss of equilibrium if vision becomes impaired in some way. Optometrists say that yearly eye exams are vital to identify and prevent conditions like glaucoma and cataracts from messing with depth perception and healthy sight. In most cases, when diagnosed early, successful cataract surgery will help to fully restore balance.
Did you find this post informative about the health conditions that affect balance?
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