Elderly patients have multiple reasons for losing their balance. Muscles are weaker, spines start to twist, bones may become brittle. Add vascular problems, vision loss, polypharmacy, and a sedentary lifestyle, and it’s no wonder that complaints of vertigo or dizziness affect some 70% of individuals age 65 or older.
Explore this issue:October 2006
Treating balance ailments can be challenging in patients of any age, but several factors make diagnosing and treating inner ear disorders in older patients particularly complicated.
When you talk about vertigo, you tend to think of an inner ear disturbance. But, it can be many things in the elderly, from loss of function from a viral infection to dislodged crystals in the ear, said Herman Jenkins, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Health Science Center in Denver.