Archive for September, 2009

How to Prevent the Elderly from Falling

Here’s some more great tips from eHow (I’ve edited it a bit to pertain to our site – this has to do with the elderly more than just dizzy patients).

1) The house of the elderly should be well-lighted. Rugs and carpets should be kept away and or well tacked. Railings should be present at stairways and even the bathroom.

2) Walkways should be smooth and free from obstructions. Toys and other unnecessary things around the living room should be kept lest these could cause the elderly to slip and fall.

3) Electrical cords and even telephone cords and chargers should be kept and or set aside in order not to block the walkways.

4) Do not let the elderly climb the stairs alone. Make sure they wear a non-skid sole shoes.

5) Make sure the elderly can access his/her medicine(s) easily.

6) Check with the doctor on the medicines whether these could cause dizziness to the elderly. Have their eyesight, hearing and blood pressure checked since these could be one of the causes for the elderly to fall and be seriously injured.

A Little Something to Make You Smile!


Vestibular Migraines

A vestibular migraine is a migraine that is associated with vestibular symptoms. Migraines usually precede the vestibular symptoms.


Symptoms include vertigo, tinnitus and possible temporary hearing loss, auras (visual disturbances that can include flashing lights or blind spots), light sensitivity and loss of balance. 

One of the best things you can do to avoid migraines is to avoid your triggers. It may take some time to adjust your life to figure out what may cause these triggers. Some common triggers include heat, stress, and lack of sleep or food. Others have noted chocolate, alcohol, smoking, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and contraceptives as triggers.

Is it BPPV?

The symptoms of BPPV can mimic other disorders: dizziness, nausea, loss of balance. How do you know if what you have is BPPV?

1) When you get dizzy, it is not permanent. It only lasts for a short while (seconds to minutes).

2) Your dizziness can be onset from your head movement – whether it’s looking up or down, turning over in bed, or other sudden head motion.

3) After this brief burst of dizziness, you may be nauseous for hours.

4) You don’t have any ringing in your ears or hearing loss associated with these bursts of dizziness.

5) The room is spinning.

Supporting Your Spouse When they Have a Vestibular Disorder

1. Communicate with your spouse. Vestibular disorders are invisible, so you may not be able to see symptoms, which can be frustrating. It is important to openly communicate with your spouse, listen to what they are going through, ask questions and explain how YOU feel.

2. Go to doctor’s appointments with your spouse. This will give you a better understanding of the prognosis of this balance disorder and an opportunity to ask questions your spouse may not be able to answer.

3. Go to support group meetings with your spouse. This will give you a chance to meet other individuals who are playing the role of the supporting spouse.

4. Make sure YOU have a support system. Whether it be friends, family, or other spouses like yourself, it is important that you have someone that you can vent to.

5. Take time out for YOU. Being someone’s support system is tiring. Make sure to go golfing, get that massage or take that shopping trip that rewards you!

Forums: Pour Your Hearts Out

I have been toying with the idea of starting a vestibular disorder forum where our readers can ask questions and meet other individuals dealing with their disorders. Until then, here are some forums that may be able to help.

Vertigo:  dizziness

1) Dizziness & Vertigo Forum at Daily Strength:

2) Vertigo Forum on Topix:

3) Vertigo Forum on MedHelp:

4) Vertigo Forum on Neurology Channel:

Vestibular Disorder:

1) Dizzy Lounge Inner Ear & Vestibular Support Group:

Chronic Illness:

1) But You Don’t Look Sick Forum:

2) Chronic Babe Forum:

Meniere’s Disease:

1) Meniere’s Talk Forums:

2) You Are Not Alone Meniere’s Forum:

3) Meniere’s Support Forum:

Dizziness and the Healthcare System

With healthcare being one of the main topics of discussion in the news lately, I thought I would share a few facts about dizziness and balance disorders and what it’s costing our healthcare system.


Falling & the elderly:


  • – Falls in persons over 65 years old is #1 cause of death
  • – 30-40% of community dwelling adults older than 65 fall
  • – A history of gait or balance disorders increase the risk of fall three fold- attributed to 17% of falls
  • – Dizziness or complaints of vertigo account for 13%


  • A study of people 72 and older found that the average health care cost of a fall injury was $19,440 (including hospital, nursing home, emergency room, and home health care, but not doctors’ services) (Rizzo et al. 1998).
  • The total direct cost of all fall injuries for people 65 and older in 2000 was slightly more than $19 billion: $179 million for fatal falls, and $19 billion for nonfatal falls (Stevens et al. 2006).
  • By 2020, the annual direct and indirect cost of fall injuries is expected to reach $43.8 billion (in current dollars) (Englander et al. 1996).