September 25, 2023by RAVIRAJ GHORPADE0

As you go about your day, you may not actively think about maintaining balance and avoiding stumbling. However, there are individuals worldwide who live with balance disorders, experiencing constant dizziness and difficulty with even the simplest activities. Balance Awareness Week aims to shed light on these invisible neurological disorders that can cause vertigo and balance problems. Let's learn more about what Balance Awareness Week is and why it is significant.

The Vestibular System, located in our inner ear, is responsible for our sense of balance and spatial orientation. It works in conjunction with our visual and musculoskeletal systems to ensure we stay upright. Unfortunately, various neurological disorders can affect the Vestibular System, leading to dizziness, vertigo, and other balance-related issues. Some common disorders include Vestibular Neuritis, Meniere’s disease, and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

These disorders can have a significant impact on daily life, making routine activities like walking or shopping challenging. They can also take a toll on mental health, causing anxiety, stress, and depression. Diagnostic techniques such as the Caloric Test, Dix-Hallpike Test, and Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (VEMP) can help identify and diagnose these disorders. Treatment options vary depending on the specific diagnosis and severity of symptoms, including medication, surgery, and Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT).

Living with balance disorders can greatly affect everyday life, leading to limitations in activities, social isolation, and mental health issues. It is important to raise awareness and support those affected. Balance Awareness Week aims to shed light on these invisible disorders, provide support, and improve understanding.

Balance disorders manifest in various ways, impacting an individual’s sense of balance and coordination. Common symptoms include dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness, unsteadiness, and imbalance. Diagnostic tests such as video nystagmography (VNG), electrocochleography (ECOG), computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) help identify the underlying cause of balance disorders. Early diagnosis is crucial for effective management and treatment, which may include medications, physical therapy, and vestibular rehabilitation therapy.

Managing balance disorders requires a holistic approach, and various treatment strategies are available based on the underlying cause. Physiotherapy, specifically vestibular rehabilitation therapy, plays a vital role in improving balance and reducing symptoms. Coping strategies and emotional support are also important for individuals living with balance disorders.

Raising awareness for balance disorders is essential in ensuring that those affected receive the necessary support and treatment. Initiatives like Balance Awareness Week help shed light on these invisible disorders and their impact on everyday life. Spreading information, participating in support groups, and supporting fundraising events can all contribute to creating awareness.

By understanding the vestibular patient experience and being empathetic towards those with balance disorders, we can provide the necessary care and support to improve their quality of life. Let’s unite in creating awareness and supporting those in need.

Balance Awareness Week is an initiative that raises awareness about vestibular disorders. It emphasizes the impact of these invisible chronic illnesses on patients' quality of life. Proper diagnosis, treatment, and coping strategies contribute to managing these disorders. Together, let’s raise awareness and provide support to those in need.

Dr. Raviraj Ghorpade M.Ch(Neurosurgery,NIMHANS)
Consult Brain & Spine surgeon
Lake view hospital Belgavi

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