Vestibular disorders in the elderly

1. Definition

The vestibule plays an important role in the ears. It sits behind the eardrum in the cochlea, which is controlled by the nervous system. The vestibule is responsible for balancing the entire body, from the positions, postures, to the movement of eyes, head, and the whole body. It is also in charge of maintaining the balance of the body when it is involved in activities, such as moving, bowing, turning around, lying, standing, and more. The vestibule system changes to fit with each activity to keep the body’s balance.

The Vestibular disorder syndrome occurs in the elderly is not a serious disease, but it causes a range of symptoms like headaches, dizziness, for a long time. These things make the elderly with poor health more tired, which has a huge impact on the quality of their life.

2. The causes of Vestibular disorders in the elderly

Vestibular disorders in the elderly can be rooted from different reasons, in which other chronic diseases are the main contribution, along with others in relation with the nervous system as below:

– Due to other diseases such as Hypotension or Hypertension. Cervical Spondylosis, Cerebrovascular Insufficiency, 8th Cranial Nerve Damage, or Disorders Of The Central Nervous System (Carotid Artery Disease), Cardiovascular Disease, Epilepsy, And More.

– Due to the impaction of diseases such as otitis media, damaged vestibular nerves, brain tumors, glaucoma, and so on.

– Due to stress: When stress lasts for a long time, our body will naturally produce a huge amount of Cortisol hormone. This hormone damages the nervous system and increases the possibility of committing vestibular disorders in the elderly.

– Due to taking unprescribed medicines or overdosing certain medicines, such as Aminoglycosides (Streptomycin), Sedatives, and Diuretics.
– An unhealthy diet and lack of sleep can raise the possibility of committing vestibular disorders.

3. Symptoms of vestibular disorders in the elderly

Vestibular disorders happen with the elderly in the same way as other ages. It often appears at midnight and early in the morning. The victims are not able to stand up after waking up as they have dizziness and nausea. If they vomit, it is usually dry heaving, green vomit, and yellow vomit.

They lose their balance, they feel unsteady and get light-headed. If they try to move, they can fall to the ground. For the elderly who have poor health, when the disease is severe, falling can cause some injuries, even a bone fracture.

The typical symptom of vestibular disorders in the elderly is when the headaches are occurring, they feel extremely dizzy, especially when they change their position and posture. Just a bit of lean-over can cause dizziness and nausea. That’s why patients with vestibular disorders would like to lie down and close their eyes all the time.

Dizziness, wobble, stagger, and nausea are the symptoms. If you vomit at a mild level, the disease is just transient. Otherwise, when it lasts up to a few hours, even a few days, it is a must to see doctors and get timely treatments.

These symptoms are easily misleading to other chronic headaches like migraines or headaches associated with ischemic cerebrovascular disease. There are some characterized signs to differentiate this syndrome from others. Those who commit ischemic cerebrovascular disease usually feel their head is pressed by something, leading to light dizziness, but it is not as serious as ones who have vestibular disorders. Moreover, it can lead to numbness and ache in the legs and the arms, and dementia concurrently. For those who have migraines, the pain spreading from temples to half of the head as intense pulsing is all they feel. With nausea, vomiting, fears of lights, noises, seeing jagged lines in their vision occurs alongside. The pain lasts for 4 – 72 hours, and it increases when the patient is moving and tending to be milder after vomiting or deep sleep.

Here is some information about the vestibular disorder syndrome in the elderly that Migrin would like to share with Mr. Huynh and you, too. Hopefully, you now understand how to track your health status, as well as which methods of treatment are right for you. As each symptom of this disease has its way of treatment. Meanwhile, with syndromes such as migraines or cerebral ischemia, we can effectively and safely control the pain with herbs like Ginkgo Biloba, Feverfew, etc.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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