It is unstable, spinning or swaying. Dizziness has many shapes. The causes are several, usually harmless and in many cases actually go away.
– We distinguish between so-called rotatory dizziness and non-rotatory dizziness. In the case of rotary dizziness, you simply go carousel, the whole world spins. Both dizziness and instability arise when signals from the body’s various sensory systems do not match each other. The latter is very common among the elderly.
– The most common cause of dizziness is neck pain, says Dr. Charlotte. Tense neck is a common disease today, the internal stress causes us to pull our shoulders up and keep them in a tense position. At the neck are small sensory cells that tell the brain where the head is in space. If the neck is tense, the brain interprets the directions and movements of the muscles. When the misinterpreted information from the neck does not match the signals that other parts of the balance sense send to the brain, we experience a feeling of instability.
Elderly and dizzy
– Elderly people become lazy for other reasons, often different age-related restrictions that together cause a feeling of instability. The ability to keep balance depends on many different senses, vision, hearing, sensation in the feet and muscle strength, functions that deteriorate over the years, says Dr. Charlotte .
– The best thing is to dare to continue to exercise. Fear of falling often leads to a decrease in movement and even worse muscle strength. Here, Nordic walking has been a rescue for many elderly people, she continues.
– You should also check that you do not have B12 deficiency, continues Dr. Charlotte. Lack of vitamin provides reduced sensitivity in the legs and feet which is a very common cause of osteoarthritis in the elderly.
So the body keeps the balance
The balance system compiles information from everything between the foot’s sensory receptors to the eye’s sensory cells. For example, it is much easier to stand on one leg when the eyes are open than when they are closed. Poor blood circulation or lack of vitamin B12 worsens the sensation in the soles of the feet and is a common cause of feeling unsteady in the elderly. The balance organs in the inner ear consist, among other things, of small organs containing small, small limescale crystals. These act as solder, with the help of which the brain detects the position of the head in relation to gravity.
The archways inside the inner ear record the direction of the head. The right and left sides work in pairs. The brain then interprets the body’s position by comparing the intensity between the left and right sides. If we lean so much in one direction that we risk falling, reflexes are triggered on the same side to parry the case. Should any left or right balance organ be damaged, the information to the brain is greatly altered. It gives a strong feeling of spin. The more we challenge such dizziness, the faster we actually get rid of it because the brain realizes that the signals do not match reality and therefore interpret them. In muscles, joints and tendons there are small pressure and stretch-sensitive receptors that send signals to the central nervous system. With the help of such information, the brain records how our body parts relate to each other. Information is of great importance, not least when we move.
Tense neck is the most common cause of dizziness. Stiffness and pain in the neck muscles can be interpreted by the brain balance center as movement, torsion or tilt. Typical symptoms are instability and sway.
Impaired blood circulation
Impaired blood circulation can cause instability for a variety of reasons, including decreased sensation in the feet. Feeling receptors in the soles of the feet are an important part of the balance system and when these transmit fewer signals, the balance center loses important information.
Drugs that in different ways reduce the blood flow to the brain can cause instability and fainting. Examples of such drugs are blood pressure lowers and nitroglycerin. Often, there are several different drug options to choose from and the hassles often disappear when you switch to something else.
Common type of dizziness which is also called benign position dizziness. Carousel feeling comes quickly in attacks often when you lie down or turn your head aside. The dizzy attack lasts for thirty seconds and then goes off. Walking feels unsteady. The reason behind the crystal sickness is that small “stones” that normally indicate the direction of the position have fallen out of the balance organ. When out of position, the brain receives signals that the whole body has this position. At the same time, signals from other parts of the balance system speak to the real thing that we have actually just sat down or turned our heads. Crystal sickness can be treated with a so-called motion treatment performed at the reception. The treatment simply involves moving the head quickly in such a way that the “stone” falls into place again.
Swinging sensations that come quickly, unilateral hearing loss, ear ache and pressure sensation in the ear characterize the disease. The attack lasts for one to five hours. The cause is probably a disturbance in the inner ear’s pressure regulation.