Balance Awareness Week – supporting those who suffer with loss of balance 12 Sep

Balance Awareness Week – supporting those who suffer with loss of balance 

About 40% of adults over the age of 40 experience dizziness and/or imbalance daily. Usually caused by vestibular disorders, your muscles not functioning or your body not working as well due to an older age.

Vestibular disorders are caused through the inner ear being affected in some way; this leads to dizziness and imbalance; heavily influencing daily life and tasks. Balance Awareness Week, starting September 15th, is a week to raise understanding around vestibular disorders, and how you can help or notice this in yourself and others!

What can balance loss feel like?

Usually, dizziness will come and go on rare occasions and is seen to be more common when you’re ill or have an ear infection. However, for someone with vestibular disorders, this dizziness can be gradual or sudden and stays a lot longer as well as being more consistent. These intense, short periods of dizziness, vertigo and nausea can cause a lot of issues in daily routines and life.

Trying to focus on the most trivial of tasks can become harder, especially when the world around you feels like it is continuously spinning. Spinning also comes and goes, and can be just as intense as dizziness, making daily life just as hard.

Loss of balance and the increase of vertigo, spinning, nausea and more, affects life mentally as well as physically. People dealing with these issues tend to live a solitary life, struggling with going outside to prevent having to deal with the dizziness and becoming an active contributor to anxiety and depression.

Not only can loss of balance lead to some mental health issues; it can also profoundly affects the mobility of the body. The lack of movement due to the fear of regular dizziness can stiffen up joints and decrease muscle flexibility and strength.

Building up and maintaining strength and mobility is crucial but trying to achieve this, alongside living with the loss of balance, is a lot harder.

Our partners, Cheshire Change Hub, have a free course called Falls Prevention. Not necessarily curing vestibular disorders but can help with keeping up your mobility and strength. Falls Prevention is a free course for people over 65 with a high risk of falling, poor mobility and those who suffer from balance problems. Over 25 weeks, you can take part in a class called Better Balance, designed to help improve your strength and mobility.

Cheshire Change Hub also provides exercises that are great for you to help build your strength and monitor your balance at home! These exercises are quick and easy, helping you to find a few ways you might not have thought of to support you with increasing your balance!

To find out more about Cheshire Change Hub and their Falls Prevention course, click here.

The Ménière’s Society is a UK charity dedicated to raising awareness for people living with vestibular disorders. Read more about how they help people dealing with these disorders and how you can help too!

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