In observance of National Balance Awareness Week, all five greater Toledo-area locations of Heartland Rehab Services will offer a complimentary balance screening from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 22.
Screenings will be conducted at Heartland Rehab at Oregon (419-697-8000); Heartland Rehab at Perrysburg (419-874-2657); Heartland Rehab at Arrowhead Park (419-897-9824); Heartland Rehab at Westgate (419-536-8030); and Heartland Rehab at Bedford (734-856-6737).
Balance is easily taken for granted. However, when the fragile vestibular organs of the inner ear are damaged by illness or injury, anyone can lose the ability to balance—not just physically, but the
demands of school, work, family, and independent living.
Adult vestibular disorders are typically underdiagnosed and undertreated. An estimated 35.4 percent of US adults age 40 years and older (109 million Americans) experience vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives; a percentage of this group go on to develop a chronic vestibular disorder.
It is unknown how many children are affected. Children are not typically screened for vestibular dysfunction and often have trouble communicating about their symptoms.
Typical symptoms and signs of a vestibular disorder vary considerably. Dizziness, vertigo, and disequilibrium often play a role so it's mportant to distinguish between them. Dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness, faintness, or unsteadiness. Unlike dizziness, vertigo has a rotational, spinning component, and is the perception of movement of the self or surrounding objects. Dizziness can be a symptom of many diseases and disorders, but frequent episodes of vertigo —whether lasting only for a few seconds or days on end—are a primary sign of vestibular dysfunction.
Disequilibrium simply means unsteadiness and imbalance that is often accompanied by spatial disorientation. Adults with vestibular disorders may frequently stumble and have difficulty walking straight or turning a corner. It can be challenging to maintain a straight posture or to walk without looking down. There is often a tendency to touch or hold onto something when standing, or to touch or hold the head while seated. There may be greater sensitivity to changes in footwear or walking surfaces, such as when moving from pavement to grass.
To learn more about vestibular disorders, visit www.vestibular.org or call (800) 837-8428.