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Off Balance & Disorientated
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Off Balance & Disorientated

This is a question about my Mum (now age 63). I am hoping that someone with have a clue what I’m going on about! For about the past 10yrs my Mum has suffered from a balance problem. She has said that sometimes she feels ‘off balance’ and ‘disorientated’. She says it isn’t dizziness as nothing spins. It can happen at any time, at home, but it is worse when she goes out. Particularly in shops or supermarkets. Over the years the problem has come and gone in severity but it’s always there. She has also suffered from panic attacks which we believe are caused due to feeling off balance as she doesn’t feel 100% in control of herself. For the past few months the problem has got worse. Now she can’t go out alone and she feels so odd and disorientated. There is no way she could walk around a supermarket to do her shopping. If I go out with her she has to grip on to my arm to steady herself. She does feel this way at home day to day also. Over the years she has had many test at the doctors. She’s numerous, neurology tests to test for brain problems, loads of blood tests and been to see consultants (about 5yrs ago). She has recently been diagnosed with being border line diabetic which is being controlled by diet. This though is not the cause of the off balance problem (though I’m sure it doesn’t help). My sister knows a lady who had the same symptoms for years and the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was. Eventually the diagnosed ‘visual vertigo’ which was being caused by movement behind one of her eyes. Today we have been to see a consultant. We suggested this vertigo idea, but it was dismissed straight away. After a series of tests the consultant said they would do one more blood test to see if Mum has a deficiency is Vitamin B12. We are awaiting the results of this test. Other than that the consultant has said that Mums problem can be sorted with exercise. Balance exercises. It seems as though she was suggesting its psychological? Mum has always been active and got out a lot. She’s always enjoyed going out, and even now she wants to go out but feels odd when she does. I’m not saying it’s wrong but I’m not sure I’m buying the exercise thing. I just don’t get it! I see Mum when’s like this and it just doesn’t add up. I’m going to help Mum with exercises and take the advice of course but does anyone have any light to shed on this?
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Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine her, I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that she needs, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about her health concern.

I can understand her worrying health concern about dizziness and balance disorder. Since she has had dizziness and balancing problem for so long it is unlikely to go away, but in most of the people it may still slowly improve after few years. It sounds like that she has benign positional vertigo but if you are significantly affected then I would suggest approaching a physiotherapist for treatment, He/She would like to suggest few exercises that may be of help in your condition. These exercises may help in improving vestibular nerve (Nerve involves in balance) function so the condition. In addition, I would suggest getting a neurologist opinion here as well in order to get complete neurological assessment and further approach. Hope this helps.


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