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Description of the Symptom

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This chapter describes pathology that may lead to a loss of balance and falls. A loss of balance can be defined as unsteadiness when sitting, standing, or walking that may result in a stumble, trip, and/or fall. A fall is an unintentional event that results in an individual coming to rest at a lower surface.1

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Special Concerns

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  • Sudden onset of balance problems or falls

  • Balance problems that occur after trauma that have not yet been discussed with a physician

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CHAPTER PREVIEW: Conditions That May Lead to a Loss of Balance and Falls
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Overview of Loss of Balance and Falls

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Any disease affecting cognition, alertness, motivation, or planning also may affect balance.2 It is common for a patient or family members to report a history of falls or loss of balance. Sixty-five percent of the population over the age of 60 may experience dizziness or loss of balance on a daily basis.2 In addition, approximately one-third ...

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