Is Medication Making You Dizzy? How You Might Restore Balance

If you’re 65 or older, there’s a good chance you’re taking a prescription medication. You’re probably taking more than one, to be honest. And that might increase your risk for a dangerous fall.

One national health survey found that one-third of Americans between the ages of 45 and 65 were on at least one prescription medication, while two-thirds of those 65 and older were taking five or more. All these pills can influence balance, particularly among older adults. And while taking a combination of medications can affect balance and cause dizziness or lightheadedness, some common types may do it on their own. To put up a solid defense, you must take on a multi-factorial approach.

Unfortunately, some of the medications that cause these symptoms are difficult to avoid. They include antidepressants, heart medications, diabetes medications, antihistamines, blood pressure meds, sleeping pills, and medicine for pain. So, although you may be able to adopt lifestyle measures to lessen your reliance on medication, it might not be enough.

One way to improve balance is through stronger muscles. When you’re stronger and have a bit more muscle mass, you may be able to absorb bumps and hold yourself up when a dizzy spell hits. It provides more sure footing and control of your body in the case of an emergency. Even a slight improvement may be enough for you to get to a chair or slowly sit down to reduce the risk of a fall.

Strengthening your muscles for improved balance can be as simple as getting more physical activity and consuming more protein. Going for walks, focusing on changing directions, and performing resistance exercises a few times a week can help activate and strengthen muscles to buy you some time if your meds are impacting balance. One good exercise to try is a squat, which can be performed by sitting on a chair.

Simply sit in a sturdy, flat-seated chair with your back straight. Push down through your feet until you’re standing, then slowly sit back down. If needed, use your hand to grab something for stability, but in time, you will be strong enough to use just your legs.

Doing your best to stay in control of your body might help offset some of the dangers of prescription medications. Along with lifestyle measurements to reduce your reliance on drugs, try to strengthen your muscles to provide a little back-up.

Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.

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