There are many reasons people slip and fall. Poor lighting, slippery walkways and worn or uneven flooring all contribute to injuries suffered by thousands of Americans each year. Falls represent the most common cause of traumatic brain injury in our country. Falls happen because you are in the wrong place, right?
The answer is maybe. While hazardous walking conditions set the stage for slip and fall accidents, there are physical conditions that contribute to falls — especially among the elderly.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the risk of falling naturally increases with age. Worse yet, falling instills further fear of doing it again, inhibiting physical activity among those who need it most.
Balance disorders are a cluster of conditions with similar symptoms like dizziness, light-headedness or sensations of spinning. Medications, age, physical ailments, inner ear conditions and injury can all cause balance disorders.
Combine unsafe premises with a balance disorder and the wrong place and wrong condition lead to big trouble. Common balance disorders include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): Brief episodes of dizziness occur upon repositioning of your head
- Labyrinthitis: Inflammatory condition of the inner ear causes dizziness and lost balance
- Ménière’s disease: Erratic changes in fluid volume in the inner ear cause a host of difficulties including tinnitus, vertigo and loss of balance
Falling at any age is dangerous. For seniors, mention any dizziness to your doctor to make sure if you do walk into the wrong place, you do not fall victim to the wrong condition.