Challenges and opportunities in managing the dizzy older adult

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 May;144(5):651-6. doi: 10.1177/0194599810397493.


Balance disorders are common in elderly people, not only resulting in distressing sensations but also leading to reduced activity levels and quality of life. It has been estimated that 30% of elderly patients experience a balance disorder. Managing these disorders is a substantial challenge for patients and their caregivers and physicians. Moreover, abnormalities in balance are associated with falls, a major cause of morbidity and mortality for elderly people. Management is complicated by the inherent difficulties in assessing the generic complaint of dizziness, as well as the likelihood of multiple, often nonvestibular causes. The authors of this mini-seminar review both vestibular and nonvestibular causes of balance disorders in elderly people, emphasizing practical therapeutic maneuvers that can be used.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Aged
  • Dizziness / complications
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Dizziness / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Polypharmacy
  • Risk Assessment