While people of all ages can experience dizziness and vertigo, the elderly are particularly at risk and have multiple causes for dizziness and vertigo.
Some of the causes of dizziness include consequences of the natural ageing process such as the weakening of muscles, bones becoming more brittle, and spines starting to twist. In addition, factors such as vision loss, polypharmacy, and sedentary lifestyles also make the elderly particularly vulnerable when it comes to dizziness and other medical problems.
Treating vertigo in elderly patients is also not as simple as treating vertigo in younger people. There are several factors that make the process of treating inner ear disorders in older people much more complicated.
While most vertigo cases are usually caused due to a disturbance in the inner ear, there can be a number of causes when it comes to the elderly such as loss of function from a viral infection to dislodged crystals in the ear.
In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the possible causes of vertigo and dizziness in the elderly and the important factors when it comes to diagnosing dizziness and vertigo in elder patients.
Causes of Dizziness in the Elderly
In order to learn how to treat dizziness in elderly, it is important to under the various causes that can lead to dizziness and vertigo for older people. Since dizziness and vertigo is not a disease but a condition, it is important to understand what is causing the dizziness to get the best treatment at a vertigo treatment centre.
Here are some of the most common causes of dizziness in the elderly:
Dizziness is an early symptom of dehydration, a condition where there is a deficit of body water which can affect older people more than younger people. Along with dizziness, some other symptoms of dehydration include headaches, discomfort, and loss of appetite. Fortunately, in most cases, dehydration is easy to fix and the symptom of dizziness can be alleviated in patients quickly.
For the elderly, it can be a good idea to keep a journal and track down both their food and liquid intake and ensure their bodies are getting the nutrients they require.
One of the most common elderly causes of dizziness is side-effects of medications, especially medications that are meant to control blood pressure. However, this can be a complex issue as a lot of the elderly require a lot of specialized medication with complex prescription bills.
For older people, it is important to consult with the doctor when it comes to medications to ensure there are no possible drug interactions to worry about or side effects such as dizziness.
It also takes time for older people to adjust the medications and the amount of each that should be taken to fit the patient’s physiology perfectly and experiencing dizziness is common during the period of adjusting.
Anaemia is a condition where the patient’s iron drops too low and one of the symptoms of the condition is dizziness. Anaemia also tends to affect older people more than younger people and it can be one of the elderly causes of dizziness.
Any vertigo treatment centre can quickly diagnose the condition with a simple blood test. Anaemia can also be fixed pretty easily by providing adequate iron supplements to the patient in order to get the iron levels back to normal in the patients.
Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is a common health problem faced by older people and is one of the elderly causes of dizziness. It can happen suddenly if the patient doesn’t eat on a regular schedule and it can also happen to diabetics when their sugar intake level is low.
With a proper diet and medications, most patients with low blood pressure can be treated. A proper diet and taking care of your overall health is part of treating vertigo in elderly patients.
Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is another cause of dizziness in older patients. Dizziness due to low blood pressure usually manifests when the patient gets up too quickly. Usually, the dizziness originating from low blood pressure doesn’t last that long but can become a chronic condition that needs to be addressed.
This can also indicate a problem with the vestibular system in the body that is responsible for regulating the blood pressure relative to the position of the body.
Meniere’s disease is a vestibular disorder that can cause dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing loss in the affected ear. It can also cause the patient to experience a feeling of pressure inside the ear.
Usually, the symptoms of the disease go away quickly between episodes but these episodes can flare-up for long durations of time without any notice.
The disease requires expert care from a vertigo treatment centre to completely neutralize the issue and allow the patient to live a healthy life without the fear of experiencing dizziness on a regular basis.
Heart Disease or Stroke
The most serious cases of dizziness in elderly patients usually involve a heart attack or a stroke. Both of them are considered to be emergency medical conditions that require immediate medical assistance.
This is why it is important to report any dizziness you feel as the underlying cause of the symptom can be as dangerous as a heart attack or stroke.
Head or Neck Trauma
Lastly, head or neck injury and trauma can cause elderly patients to experience dizziness as a symptom of their injuries.
How to treat dizziness in elderly patients
There can be various underlying diseases that can cause older people to feel dizziness on a irregular or a regular basis. A vertigo treatment centre can help in finding the underlying cause of the symptom and help the patient in overcoming it and living a healthy and fulfilling life again.