Masthead

MedBlog

Expert views on health issues that matter

The reasons for falling down

ShyamprofileDr. Shyamprasad

Falling down

Increased Risk of Fall Accident Begins at Age 40

 According to the Centre for Disease Control Atlanta USA (2013) , an estimated one in three adults aged 65 or older falls each year. In fact, many studies show that people begin to have balance problems starting at the age of 40 years. The older you get, the weaker your physical body and sensory abilities will be, which are all factors in having poor balance.

In Japan , more than 7,000 people a year die from falling accidents. This exceeds the number of traffic accidents.

You can determine how good your balance is by measuring the length of time that you can stand on one leg.

The following table shows the average balance time by age group in a study conducted at a Japanese health institute.

Average time with eyes open

20 - 39 yrs

110 seconds

40 - 49 yrs

64 seconds

50 - 59 yrs

36 seconds

60 - 69 yrs

25 seconds

:

Average time with eyes closed

20 - 39 yrs

12 seconds

40 - 49 yrs

 7 seconds

50 - 59 yrs

 5 seconds

60 - 69 yrs

 less than 3 seconds

 

If your balance time is below average, then you'll have higher risk of falls, or slipping and tripping accidents.

In the above study, women tend to lose their balance more than men but only by a small margin (1-2%). From this study, it is also evident that there's a sudden significant decrease in the ability to maintain balance among middle-aged people (40 years and above).

Please take note that the numbers stated above are only average. There are people who were able to maintain balance much longer, and there are also those who were only able to maintain their balance at much shorter time regardless of age and gender. The reason why they vary is explained further below.

The skin all throughout your body have significant amount of tiny pressure sensors or mechanoreceptors. Some areas have few pressure sensors, while other areas have thousands, like on the soles of your feet

The pressure sensors on the foot soles provide information to your brain to help balance your body. As you get older, the sensors will get weaker and your foot sole lose sensitivity. But there are also other factors that can lead to weaker pressure sensors.

  Poor Blood Circulation Can Disrupt the Pressure Sensors

 People are almost twice as likely to be in a fall accident caused by poor blood circulation.

 This can be simulated by soaking your feet into ice cold water for about 3 minutes. Because of the cold temperature, the pressure sensors on the foot sole begin to lose sensitivity.

1) Pay Attention to Your Forward-Moving Foot

 If your forward-moving foot hit something, your body will be off-balance causing you to fall or trip.

Well, it's a matter of common sense to always have your eyes on path and watch where you are going. Remember the old adages -"Prevention is better than cure", "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", "Look before you leap", etc.

2) You walk like a pendulum.

The height of your step can greatly increase your risk of falling. To prevent this, your forward-moving foot must be higher off the ground (at least 5 cm) while the knee is raised high. Actually, all the mechanoreceptors located throughout your body as well as the soles of your feet are sending information to the brain that include muscle contractions and joint angles.

 When this information is not transmitted well to your brain, which happens as you get older, then the movement will get weak or ineffective making it hard for you to maintain your foot higher off the ground.

Apart from the aging effect and  weakening of balance and sensory loss, some other specific conditions can contribute to increased chances of falling and thereby requiring attention.

These are:

  1. Postural Hypotention- falling of blood pressure due to changing position,e.g. from lying down to standing.
  2. Osteopororsis, where the bones become weak due to loss of calcium, common  among post menopausal women.
  3. Use of drugs and alchohol
  4. Living in a clustered environment.
  5. Diabetes Mellitus

 How to Prevent Yourself from a Fall, Trip, or Slip

 1. Keep Your House Clean

There are a lot of things in your house that can contribute to clutters that can cause you to trip or fall. Always make sure to put away or store properly all personal belongings and other unnecessary things even if it is only a newspaper, remote control, and laundries scattered on the floor or carpet.

 2. Stretch Your Feet and Ankles

You might think that your feet do not need exercise or stretching compared to other parts of your body, but in reality, feet stretching exercise can really help your feet maintain balance.

 3. Keep Your House Warm and Ensure Adequate Lighting

Cold muscles and pressure sensors are less responsive to signals. A decreased temperature will also cause your muscles to have less strength and less flexible, which can lead to accidents.

Always try to keep your house warm or wear proper clothes and footwear, especially during winter. Since most falls occur indoors, make sure your house has adequate lighting.


Write a review

Tags

Lungs Diabetes Diarrhoea Depression CHD Insurance Medical wheezing breathlessness breadthing difficluty sugar Hypoglycemia Hyperglycemia Type 1 diabetes Type 2 diabetes Gestational Diabetes stomach infection food poisining dehydration symptoms of diarrhoea depressed mood low mood Non-psychiatric illnesses Psychiatric syndromes major depressive disorder Coronary heart disease angina insurance value insurance calculation Human Life Value concept Savings Investments in insurance heart disease palpitations symptoms of heart disease Benefits of exercise avoid heart disease Cholesterol smoking drinking overweight eating habits bad cholesterol good cholesterol low density lipoprotein high carb diet cardiovascular disease hypertension blood pressure stress work tension cardiovascular risk stroke atherosclerosis lifestyle destress Hypnotherapy alternative therapies Hypnosis pregnancy care pregnant care emotional health positive emotions emotional stress negative emotions professional pressures relationship expectations over consumption of antobiotics unprescribed antibiotics consumption drug resistant antibiotics Colistin resistance addiction relief non alchoholic addiction non susbtance addiction ocd obesssive compulsive disorder uncontrolled cravings zika zika virus rio virus olympics health advisory typhoid typhoid fever water borne diesase adulterated food threats ear pain ear infection oozing from the ear fluid collection in the ear vertigo puss in the ear deafness hearing difficulty oral hygiene burshing bad breadth living in the past negative thoughts living in the present positive energies smile good smile perfect smile million dollar smile cold body pain runny nose viral infection tooth sensitivity teeth sensitivity tingling teeth head ache white teeth yellow teeth discoluored teeth teeth whitening teeth bleaching implants dental implants permenant dentures new teeth replacement advantages of dental implants dental implant care Tobacco abuse Oral cancer Mouth ulcers birth defects respiratory diseases asthma Dental caries Periodontitis Leukoplakia Oral sub mucous fibrosis transdermal patch nicotine gum vitamin deficiancy vitamin d vitamin d deficiency vitamin d deficiency symptoms ibs bone pain sweaty forehead dizziness head spinning lose of balance Meniere Vestibular Neuritis Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo inner ear infection cigarette addiction nicotine addiction lung damage falling down risk of injury imbalance risk of falling Mosquito bite malaria types of malaria high fever rigors shivering dark gums black gums sinus sinusitis nasal stuffiness discharge from nose sore throat facial swelling mental health H1N1 Swine flu influenza viral fever GERD acid reflux heartburn acidity stomach burn sharp abdominal pain Gastroesophageal reflux disease


Qa popup