Close your eyes and stand on one foot. It’s hard right? Now imagine having that same disorienting feeling on two feet, and with your eyes open. Balance is something most of us take for granted. We don’t often think about our balance—until we lose it.
While most people may not be familiar with the word “vestibular”—a system in your inner ear that sends signals to your brain to tell you where you are in space—many of us have likely experienced the awkward, sometimes even scary feeling, when we momentarily lose our balance.
Whether it comes on gradually over time or all of the sudden, bouts of dizziness, vertigo, and nausea can make many of life’s routine tasks virtually intolerable. Everyday life – from getting around your house to grocery shopping—becomes a progressively challenging obstacle course to navigate.
That’s why VeDA pioneered Balance Awareness Week in 1997—to shine a light on invisible balance disorders. When everyone is more aware, we can better understand the vestibular patient experience and be empathetic to those who need our support—family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. While many balance disorders are incurable, faster and more accurate diagnoses, along with effective coping strategies, can greatly improve quality of life for those who suffer with these invisible chronic illnesses.
Join VeDA this September for Balance Awareness Week, and together we can support people struggling with dizziness, vertigo and imbalance on their journey toward a life rebalanced.
Life Rebalanced Chronicles features nine vestibular warriors sharing their stories in six episodes, which will be aired weekly starting August 17th, in conjunction with Balance Awareness Week. Each episode is focused on a part of the human experience impacted by living with vestibular dysfunction—Mind, Body, Spirit, Relationships, Self, Life . . . Rebalanced.
You can help make vestibular visible while supporting your friends and family on their journey toward a life rebalanced. Inviting friends, family members, co-workers, and other connections to participate in and financially support fundraising challenges will help raise awareness of balance-related disorders. Additionally, healthcare professionals across a range of balanced-related fields are encouraged to promote Balance Awareness Week at their office, hospital, within their community, and online. Other ways to raise awareness include:
Please help us spread awareness among your friends, family, coworkers, and community. Download a toolkit and support vestibular warriors worldwide.
Flamingos are masters of balance--something vestibular patients strive for! So many of you celebrated Balance Awareness Week by downloading your own Fiona Flamingo and decorating your selves, friends, families, pets, homes, and offices with flamingos! Take a look at the entrants and the finalists in our Facebook albums.
Falls can happen anywhere, anytime. Falls are common among senior citizens and some even incorrectly consider them a normal part of aging.
But the truth is, anyone at any age can suffer a devastating fall as a result of vestibular system dysfunction.
The vestibular system lives in the inner ear and tells the brain where you are relative to your surroundings. If the vestibular system is damaged due to illness or injury, a person might experience dizziness, imbalance, disorientation, or even spinning vertigo, resulting in a fall.
Whether you’re 16 or 60 years old, if you have a vestibular disorder, take precautions to prevent a fall.
VeDA is collecting demographic information about our community to better understand the people we serve and to create a baseline for our efforts to improve our outreach and foster equity, inclusivity, and diversity.