While dizziness, or disequilibrium, has many causes, the most common are vascular or central nervous system maladies not usually seen in younger patients. It might be an infection. If the patient also has limb weakness or slurred speech, stroke is a real possibility. Or, the problem may be related to medication causing depressed blood pressure to the brain. If a sensation of spinning is involved, it might be benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), the most common cause of vertigo in the elderly. How best should an otolaryngologist diagnosis and treat senior balance disorders?
Factors in Diagnosis
I think the main thing is to consider the comorbidities-vision and proprioception issues-when treating these folks, said Greg Ator, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan. These factors can adversely impact the response to therapy if not recognized.
Noting that three systems in the body-the visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive-act in concert to maintain stable orientation, Dr. Ator believes that the eyes are the window into the vestibular system and the strongest influence overall on balance.| ← Previous | | | Next → | Single Page