As you can imagine, pain is the top complaint that motivates people to visit their doctors. But the second most common issue is even harder to assess and treat. And it’s one that you become more and more likely to experience as you age: dizziness. In general, dizziness is very hard to assess objectively. While certain exercises can help correct it, it can be dangerous for dizzy people to complete these exercises at home. If they live alone or with a spouse or roommate who is also aging and therefore unable to offer physical support, the fall risk may be too great. Fortunately, researchers have recognized these challenges and have developed a device that can both help doctors evaluate dizziness in a more standardized way and give patients the opportunity to improve their dizziness on their own.
This device is called the EQUIVert, and it consists of a pair of headphones that link to specialized software. As you may know, balance and dizziness are closely connected to inner ear function, but as we age, this function can become compromised by a variety of factors. When this happens, the eyes often work to compensate. But this can lead to an increase in dizziness when visual input is lacking, such as at night or when the eyes are closed.
The EQUIVert system works to help return primary responsibility for balance to the ears. The device includes an accelerometer and rotation rate sensors to help the wearer know when he or she has gotten off balance. If the patients leans too far in one direction, for example, the device beeps. It can also safely guide the wearer through balance exercises, as it’s able to calibrate the difficulty of the exercise to the wearer’s ability level. The software the device uses can also send information to the patient’s doctor so that he or she knows just how off balance the patient is getting and whether he or she is improving.
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I think this device sounds like a great idea. The devices should be available in August, and I think they’re a wise addition to the practice of any physician who sees a lot of patients complaining of dizziness. The at-home models can also be a helpful way for patients to safely treat their dizziness, but they’re going to be a bit pricey (around $800). If you suffer from severe dizziness, the cost could be worth regaining your quality of life, but you should discuss this option with your doctor.
Fortunately, there might be a much cheaper place to start: Advanced Adrenal Factor. Believe it or not, adrenal fatigue can cause periods of dizziness and lightheadedness. If you know you’ve recently endured a stressful season or you have other symptoms of adrenal fatigue, such as general exhaustion, difficulty focusing, sugar or salt cravings, or sleep difficulties even though you feel tired, you may not need an expensive device to get your balance back. Help your adrenals get back on track with Advanced Adrenal Factor, and your dizziness may disappear along with your other symptoms.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD