What causes dizziness in elderly people?

Dizziness in elderly people is common. If you are looking for answers and how to get for yourself or a friend or family member there is hope in this article. Before we get started on our list, there are two things you should know about this article.

  1. “You’re getting older” is not going to be one of the reasons.
  2. We’ll offer a natural solution after our list that has helped many and is safe for seniors.

With those two things in mind, let’s start with our list of 8 reasons that dizziness and imbalance in the elderly is so common.

What triggers vertigo in elderly people?

#1. Heart Disease or Stroke

When should you worry about dizziness? Some of the most serious causes of dizziness involve a heart attack or stroke. These are emergency medical conditions that require immediate care. As a result, it is important to know the signs of a heart attack including chest pain that may or may not radiate into the arm or jaw, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, along with a dizziness or lightheadedness. Stroke symptoms include numbness on one side of the face or body, confusion, trouble seeing, severe headache, dizziness or loss of balance. If you or someone you know is experiencing either of these collection of symptoms you should call for help immediately. 

#2. Medications

This problem seems like an easy fix but can be a little more complicated. One of the most common medications that causes dizziness is blood pressure medication. But you can’t just quit your meds to get rid of the dizziness. Letting blood pressure get out of control can lead to serious heart issues and even death. It can take time to adjust the medications and the amount of each that you take in order to get the benefits and minimize the side effects, so be patient with your doctor. You can find natural ways to improve your blood pressure and possibly reduce or eliminate your need for blood pressure medication that may be leading to your dizziness symptoms. Nutrition and exercise are very connected to blood pressure and should be focused on to normalize your blood pressure.

#3. Anemia

Anemia occurs when a person’s iron levels get low. Dizziness is just one of the symptoms. Others include fatigue and an overall lack of energy. The good news is that the doctor can find out if you are anemic with a simple blood test. Then it is just a matter of using iron supplements to bring your blood levels back up to normal and that should correct the dizziness. This can be one of the most frequent causes of dizziness in elderly people (especially women).

#4. Low Blood Sugar

Called hypoglycemia, low blood sugar can occur suddenly if you don’t eat on a regular schedule. This also happens to diabetics who watch sugar intake levels and take insulin. Diabetics may have a pill to take if blood sugar gets too low, but it is far easier to regulate blood sugar with diet than with pills and shots. Eating smaller meals more frequently instead of a few large meals spaced out can help prevent both low or high blood sugar levels.

#5. Low Blood Pressure

Really, dizziness can be caused by either high or low blood pressure. However, when we are speaking about low blood pressure in particular, you may first notice the issue when you get up too quickly. If blood pressure doesn’t regulate properly, you may get dizzy the second you sit or stand up. This could also indicate an issue in the vestibular system which may be failing to let your body know it needs to increase blood pressure because you have changed position.

#6. Dehydration 

What is the home remedy for dizziness in elderly people? Drink some water! Dizziness is one of the earliest signs of dehydration. It is also the easiest cause of dizziness to fix. All you have to do is drink more water. Try keeping a journal and writing down everything you drink for a week. You may find out that you drink a lot less than you thought. Increasing your water intake could be a cheap and easy fix for dizziness. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink approximately 75 ounces of water each day. This can have a dramatic impact on vertigo and dizziness in the elderly. 

#7. Meniere’s Disease

This is a vestibular disorder that causes vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss in the affected ear and a feeling of pressure inside the ear. Symptoms go away between episodes but can flare-up for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours without any notice. Severe vertigo bouts can lead to nausea and dizziness or even falls. Meniere’s Disease can frequently be related to head and neck injuries which we will discuss more later this article.

#8. Head or Neck Injuries From the Past

What is the most common cause of dizziness in the elderly? If you have already looked into the 7 possible causes of dizziness or vertigo in elderly people and you’re still struggling with chronic dizziness or vertigo this is likely the underlying cause. You’ve lived a long and full life, and you may not have always played it safe. Or perhaps you were the victim of some type of accident. Regardless of how the head or neck trauma was caused, it can come back to haunt you in the form of dizziness, sometimes even years after the initial injury. What is the connection between injuries and dizziness? Dizziness in elderly people is frequently the result of undetected injuries to the head and neck that has led to symptoms of dizziness, disequilibrium or vertigo.

Have you ever had whiplash?

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?

Have you ever had a concussion?

Have you ever been in a car accident?

Have you had a slip and fall when you wrenched your neck or hit your head?

Were you ever thrown from a horse, had an injury while skiing, or had an no other sports injury to your head or neck?

Head and neck injuries are very common throughout life and can lead to serious consequences including dizziness in elderly people.

What helps with dizziness in the elderly?

For many, dizziness in elderly people started with an injury to the head or neck years or even decades before. Accidents and injuries to the head and neck cause the ligaments in the upper neck to be stretched or damaged which allows the upper neck bones (C1 and C2 vertebrae) to shift from their normal position. Even slight misalignments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae (Atlas and Axis) that occur during accidents or injuries can have long-term consequences. They may cause no pain or other symptoms at first. You may have written the injury off as no big deal. But it has been there all along, doing damage. In what ways?

  • Brainstem function – A misaligned C1 can affect brainstem function because it encloses the area where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. This can affect communication throughout the body, including between the brain and the parts of the body that provide information regarding balance and spatial orientation.
  • Cerebral blood and CSF flow – The upper cervical vertebrae help protect arteries, veins and cerebral spinal fluid passages that bring these important fluids to and from the brain through the vertebral foramen – tiny loops of bone that provide safe passage for the vertebral arteries. However, even a slight misalignment can affect blood and CSF supply and potentially impact the entire central nervous system.
  • Eustachian tubes – Because the atlas (C1) is close to the ears, a misalignment can have an effect on the Eustachian tubes. These tubes carry excess fluid away from the ears. Thus, a misalignment can also be an underlying factor when it comes to conditions like Meniere’s disease, which is related to an overabundance of fluid, usually in just one ear.

If you are having dizziness or vertigo related to an upper neck misalignment you may be experiencing other symptoms including:

  • Lingering neck pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms

If you are already experiencing some of these symptoms along with dizziness or vertigo, it’s even more likely that you have an undetected upper neck injury that has to be corrected in order for you to heal.

Upper Cervical Specialists have helped thousands of people with vertigo, dizziness, disequilibrium, Ménière’s Disease and associated conditions.

Upper Cervical Doctors use a unique, specific, and precise approach that does not involve any forceful manipulation that most people associate with chiropractic. There is no popping, cracking, or twisting of the spine. There is only 3000 of these upper cervical specialists in the world so if you have one anywhere near you, we recommend you make the drive and go see one of these specialists.

So, before you write off dizziness as an effect of aging, you get your upper neck alignment checked by an upper cervical specialist. Precise and gentle adjustments are safe for patients of all ages. Find an upper cervical specialist near you and schedule a consultation today to find hope and healing.

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