It is estimated that there are between 5 and 8 million physician visits for dizziness in the United States each year, and dizziness is the leading reason for a physician visit for patients over age 75 years. In addition, every year, one-third to one-half of the population age 65 and over experience falls. Of all falls suffered by the elderly, 50 percent are the result of vestibular problems. Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults and are the leading cause of death in those over age 85.
Problems with the vestibular system can affect an individual's ability to walk, postural stability and balance control during functional activities. Patients may require specific maneuvers to assist them in recovery, instruction in habituation exercises and compensatory strategies, balance retraining or instruction in safety measures (including use of assistive devices).
Martha Jefferson’s Vestibular, Balance and Falls Clinic provides professional, high quality evaluation and treatment of patients suffering from these disorders.
Among the specific disorders treated are:
- Gait instability
- History of falls
- Impaired balance
- Motion sensitivity
Martha Jefferson’ offers a number of treatments to help people who have vestibular problems, including:
- Exercises and activities to decrease vertigo
- Repositioning maneuvers and exercises for positional vertigo
- Balance retraining
- Counseling for safety equipment
- Safety training and other mobility skills
- Training in activities of daily living