Vertigo in the Elderly: Preventing Seniors from Falling


At least one out of four seniors over the age of 65 suffer from falls annually. Falling is a common cause of injury-related deaths for seniors. Take note that falling and getting broken bones from a fall leads to a significant loss of independence for the elderly. 

Dizziness is the common cause of their falling. Seniors with vertigo are the most susceptible to fall and suffer injuries and complications from that encounter. It is essential to know that they can avoid these accidents by understanding and treating the source of vertigo

Balance Disorders, Vertigo, and Dizziness

Seniors frequently experience dizziness. Their dizzy spells are associated with functional decline due to their old age and balance disorders. They are prone to feeling unsteady on their feet or lightheaded, or vertigo. 

At least one in every three seniors between the ages of 65 to 75 complains about feeling unsteady or dizzy. It is a primary cause of concern because it wreaks havoc their quality of life, health, and wellness. 

Seniors: General Causes of Their Dizziness or Vertigo

The first thing to bear in mind is that not all dizziness symptoms are all the same. Vertigo is the term doctors use to identify a type of dizziness that causes anyone or their surroundings to feel like spinning or moving.

This fact is crucial because it defines how vertigo can be one of the most common types of dizziness that happen as people grow older. Vertigo is treatable nowadays. Here are the common causes of dizziness among seniors:

  • Meniere’s disease

Symptoms of Meniere’s disease consist of bouts of vertigo combined with ringing in one ear or hearing loss. It stems from a fluid imbalance in the inner ear. Proper diet and temporary medication can help care for Meniere’s. However, this condition gets worse with age.

  • Vestibular neuritis

This type of dizziness is due to the inflammation of the vestibular nerve in the inner ear. It may be more severe and risky for seniors. The symptoms include sudden vertigo and disorientation. In addition, it also causes nausea and nystagmus, an abnormal back-and-forth jerking eye movement. Vestibular neuritis sometimes disappears on its own over time, although it may often last longer among the elderly.

  • Positional vertigo

Positional vertigo is also called BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It is a condition that arises due to the migration of ear rocks or crystals to the wrong canals of the inner ear. The main symptom of BPPV is sudden spinning sensation whenever you move your head. The elderly feel it when they turn over in bed or look up suddenly in any direction. Although the vertigo attacks are brief, they are often disturbing and intense. BPPV is treatable with some specific kinds of movement exercises and medications.

  • Medical dizziness

It is a kind of dizziness that brings a sensation of disorientation or light-headedness. Medical dizziness can cause a slight loss of consciousness called syncope. Take note that medical dizziness can be due to:

  • Side effects from medications
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes 

“Orthostatic hypotension” is one side effects of taking medications for the elderly. It can make them feel dizzy whenever they get out of their bed or stand up.

  • Central dizziness

It is another type of dizziness that is due to a disturbance in the central nervous system. It affects seniors because disruption of blood flow exists in the region of their brain. Symptoms of dizziness are most often combined with nausea and ataxia, which results in the sudden loss of muscle coordination.

Remember that all types of dizziness, especially vertigo, can significantly contribute to a higher risk of falls in seniors. Imbalance, dizziness, and vertigo are not normal parts of aging. Care is always available. You don’t have to live your life with a constant fear of falling.

Warning Signs of a More Serious Issue

Here are several acute symptoms that you might observe from seniors with vertigo. If you are a senior and you experience any of these symptoms combined with dizziness, call for quick medical assistance. Do not waste time waiting.

  • Convulsions or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Head trauma
  • High fever
  • Sudden weakness
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Inability to move an arm or leg

How to Help Prevent Elders From Accidental Falls

  • Add grab bars in your tub or shower area and next to the toilet.
  • Make your home safer by removing things that could trip you over.
  • See a doctor for an eye check at least once a year.  Update your eyewear if necessary. 
  • Practice some strength and balance exercises. This can make your legs stronger and improve your balance. Yoga and Tai Chi are good examples of this kind of activity.
  • Make sure your home has ample lighting.
  • Install railings on the stairs.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care And Vertigo Relief for Seniors

Vertigo is a very debilitating symptom, but thanks to upper cervical chiropractic, managing it is possible. Upper cervical chiropractic care includes advanced diagnostic imaging that identifies the precise location and severity of any upper neck misalignment. Once chiropractors of this practice have accurate measurements, they will analyze and calculate the specific adjustment essential to correct any misalignment that causes vertigo.

They only use gentle pressure to a precise point in the upper cervical area. Many senior vertigo patients have already experienced long-term relief from this method.

Take your first action towards your recovery and healing. Consult an upper cervical chiropractor nearby your area by using our website’s search function.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.