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Dizzy Spells – A Hidden Risk Factor for Seniors

by Editorial Team October 22nd, 2018 | Common Conditions
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Dizziness is a common among seniors and is a persistent health concern that accompanies aging. An estimated 30 percent of seniors above age 60 experience dizziness, and the prevalence is expected to increase. Dizziness can be caused by something as minor as an ear infection, or as serious as impending stroke. No matter what the root cause, dizziness significantly affects seniors’ risk of serious injury.

Dizziness remains one of the leading reasons why seniors visit their doctor, and for good reason. Seniors 65 years and older are at a higher risk of health issues related to dizziness.

Here is a rundown of medical conditions which seniors could be at increased risk for due to dizzy spells.

Dementia

Dementia is a collection of health conditions associated with severe decline in a person’s mental abilities. One of the most prevalent symptoms of dementia is memory lapses. Research has established that constant dizziness among seniors is closely associated with dementia. Further,falling and getting lost are among the most common challenges experienced by older adults with dementia. Familiar places may sometimes look unfamiliar, making it difficult for them to find their way home. Thus, one who experiences constant dizziness should get tested for dementia and take precautions when alone.

Stroke

A stroke is a medical condition that occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is reduced or significantly interrupted. As a result, the tissues of the brain are deprived of essential nutrients and oxygen, and the brain cells begin to die. Research has found that there is a close link between dizziness and stroke, especially among seniors. Therefore, spells of dizziness could potentially signal an impending stroke in seniors. Luckily, a stroke can be diagnosed with eye movement tests, and it can be treated. However, stroke is a medical emergency, and periods of dizziness should be taken seriously and treated quickly.

Falling

Falling is a common problem and is one of the leading causes of death among seniors. Even relatively healthy seniors are at risk of falling due to weaker bones and muscles. Dizziness further increases the risk of falling and can causelife-threatening falls. Most seniors are not able to get up after they fall, and if there is no one to help them, their injuries can get worse.They may suffer from other problems such as dehydration, missed medications, and other complications. Ifa senior suffers from constant dizziness, it is wise to get them a medical alert system with fall detection technology. This will ensure access to emergency help in the event of a fall, and caregivers can be notified immediately.

Anemia

Anemia is a medical condition associated with insufficient healthy red blood cells to take oxygen to all the body tissues. It can be a severe condition and life-threatening. Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms of anemia. There is an underlying cause in approximately 80 percent of seniors with anemia. A senior experiencing dizzy spells should undergo testing to rule out anemia and other potential issues.

Early Death

Seniors who experience frequent dizziness are at risk of a number of diseases and injuries. These conditions and injuries can negatively affect their health and shorten their life expectancy. For instance, if senior falls and sustains a severe spinal or hip bone injury, this can significantly hamper their physical movement, lead to additional problems, and generally cause their health to deteriorate rapidly.

The Takeaway

Although dizziness does not always signal a severe medical condition, it is associated with potentially life-threatening illnesses and complications. Seniors are already to vulnerable to a range of health issues, and their risk for serious conditions is only increased by dizzy spells.

The safety of seniors with dizzy spells can be bolstered by providing them with a medical alert device. These devices consist of buttons to access immediate help in the event of an emergency and can even provide a GPS tracker to locate a senior with dementia or confusion. Many different medical alert system are available with various features, so it’s wise to consult a site medical alert review site for comparisons and reviews before making a purchase.

It’s always advisable to see a doctor immediately when experiencing dizziness to ensure that if there is severe underlying cause, it’s addressed early enough.Whether minor or serious, these health issues can be detrimental to seniors’ wellbeing.

Brought to you by our friends at medicalalertbuyersguide.org.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.