Vertigo is a serious medical condition. Which can indicate serious health concerns for our aging parents. Furthermore, having vertigo can also put our aging loved one at a high risk of falls and injuries. If we know about the various factors that cause it. We can help and protect our loved one from a major incident. And help them lead a comfortable and active life.
Understanding – facts unfolded
Vertigo is a condition characterized by spells of dizziness. With a feeling that the world around is revolving. Some individuals even feel that they are falling. Even though they can touch the ground, bed, or chair beneath them. Although it is not a very dangerous condition in itself. But it is a very important symptom of a big impending problem.
Usually, it takes place when there are certain changes taking place in the inner ear. This is where the brain reads information about an individual’s movement or position. Therefore, if your loved ones are showing signs of vertigo or dizziness. It is best to get them evaluated immediately.
Causes of vertigo
It is important to realize, that it can indicate a serious problem. And by knowing about its various causes, one can arrive at a proper diagnosis. The various causes of vertigo include the following.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
This is where tiny particles of calcium get deposited in the inner ear. Causing brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness.
This indicates a viral infection of the inner ear. Which causes the nerves near the region of the inner ear to swell up. This nerve sends balance and head position information from the inner ear to the brain.
A disorder of the membranous labyrinth of the inner ear. The membranous labyrinth is a collection of fluid-filled tubes and chambers. It contains the receptors for the senses of equilibrium and hearing. It will cause recurrent attacks of dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
There are many different causes of vertigo. When your aging parents suffer from an attack of vertigo, have them sit or lie down. They may be experiencing the following conditions.
The head may spin and may tilt in a particular direction
Your parent may feel as if the world around them is revolving at high speed.
There will .be a sudden loss of balance, which can eventually lead to a fall.
Their head is pulling towards one particular direction.
May experience lightheadedness or a sense of fainting.
The above-mentioned events happen when one is experiencing vertigo. While it in itself is a major symptom of another disease. There may also be other symptoms accompanying the condition.
The following is a checklist that all caregivers should take careful note of. Report any of these symptoms to the doctor if they find their loved ones experiencing any.
Nausea accompanied by vomiting
Nystagmus, where the individual experiences rapid, abnormal, involuntary movements of the eyes.
A ringing sound heard in the ears
Hearing loss occurs in severe cases
The above-mentioned symptoms can be for a few minutes or they can even occur for several hours. Do not hesitate to call the doctor.
Tips for caregivers to help their aging parents cope with vertigo
When your elderly loved ones are experiencing bouts of dizziness. It is best to get them evaluated by a physician. In the meantime, it is also necessary to give them love and support. Another key point is to prevent them from getting injured by unexpected falls during a bout of vertigo.
Vertigo tends to occur when the person is getting up very fast. From either a sleeping position or after long hours of sitting. Therefore, it is best to ask your elderly loved ones to get up slowly and change sides carefully. Ask them to take breaks in between, if they are getting dizziness spells.
Make sure that you or professional caregivers are there. Stand by your loved one when they are getting up from the bed or standing up after long hours of sitting. You also need to offer physical support to your loved one when they are getting up from the toilet. This is because these are the positions when they are at high risk of experiencing vertigo.
Make their home “fall-proof”
Suffering from vertigo entitles your elderly loved ones to accidental falls and injuries. Therefore, it becomes necessary to make certain changes. In your home to prevent falls in case of sudden dizzy spells. You can consider installing grab bars in the bathrooms. Install them in the passageway that leads to their room. Remove all slippery floor mats, and tightly secure all the banisters. For this reason, your elderly loved ones have better control. Especially, over themselves when they feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Taking care of ears can go a long way in preventing vertigo. The buildup of fluids, inflammation, and viral infections all contribute to vertigo. Even exposure to loud noises is to be harmful to the ear health of your elderly loved ones. Therefore, it is necessary to make regular ear checkups and also keep them away from loud noises. Also, check out this post on hearing loss.
This is an exercise-based program. Designed by a specialized physical therapist, to improve balance and reduce dizziness-related problems.
Canalith repositioning maneuvers
A series of specific head and body movements for BPPV. To move the calcium deposits out of the canal into an inner ear chamber so they can absorb back into the body. You will likely have vertigo symptoms during the procedure as the canaliths move. A doctor or physical therapist can guide you through the movements. The movements are safe and often effective.
All the above-mentioned tips will help. The caregiver will be able to care for their aging parents with vertigo with love and compassion.
I too have had experience with vertigo. I woke up one morning feeling very unbalanced to the point of having to lie back down. The room was spinning and I thought I was about to have a stroke or something. Once at the doctor’s office, they told me that I had vertigo. I was happy that it was something that could gain control. They sent me to a physical therapist for 2 weeks. The tips, diet changes, and exercises that I learned were invaluable. I felt better than I had in years. For more information, check out this site as well.
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