Balance problems are among the most common reasons that older adults seek help from a physician. The greatest risk associated with balance problems is falling and fall-related injuries such as hip fractures. Early preventive measure, particularly balance therapy, can reduce the risk of falls and help promote independence. Without preventive efforts, about one third of people aged 65 or older typically fall once or more each year.
There are three main types of balances problems: vertigo, presyncope and disequilibrium. Vertigo is a sense of spinning. Presyncope is a feeling of lightheadedness or feeling faint. Disequilibrium is the sensation of being off balance and is most often characterized by frequent falls in a specific direction.
The new Balance Center utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic technology to determine the cause of dizziness or imbalance:
Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP) with SMART Balance Master equipment, developed by NASA, is used to identify which of the three balance systems is impaired – the auditory system (hearing and vestibular), the sensory system (sense of touch and feel by skin, joints and muscles) or vision.
Videonystagmography (VNG) is a diagnostic test that analyzes eye movements to evaluate the vestibular function in the inner ear. The test shows if a dizziness or imbalance problem is due to an inner ear disorder.
Since hearing and the vestibular system are directly connected, hearing tests are also conducted.
Once the cause of imbalance is identified, the Center’s highly qualified audiologists, occupational therapists and physical therapists develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient.
For more information about the Phelps Balance Center, call 914-366-1170. For information on scheduling a hearing or VNG test, call 914-366-3010.
You might benefit from vestibular/balance rehabilitation if:
Yyou feel dizzy when you:
- Look up
- Bend down
- Turn over in bed quickly
- Get up quickly
- Turn your head quickly
- Walk down a narrow hallway
- Walk in a supermarket aisle
- Recline in a dentist chair
- Are in dim lighting or darkness
You feel dizzy and you recently:
- Were hospitalized
- Had a near/full fall
- Had a head injury
- Had an ear infection
You are not dizzy but you:
- Have trouble with your balance
- Hold onto objects when you walk
- Walk slowly
- Feel wobbly/unsteady in the dark
- Turn your head slowly
- Are cautious and do everything slowly
Phelps Memorial Hospital Center is a 238-bed acute care community hospital in Sleepy Hollow with more than 1,600 employees and 475 medical staff members representing 50 medical specialties. Phelps offers one of the broadest ranges of community hospital services in Westchester. Patients benefit from distinguished physicians, many of whom are pioneers in their field, offering the most advanced procedures using the latest technology. www.phelpshospital.org