Here are five common causes of light-headedness:
1. Dehydration: When you are dehydrated your blood pressure drops and prevents your brain from getting the oxygen it needs, leading to light-headedness. A glass of water might make all the difference.
2. Drug side effects: Sometimes medications make you feel lightheaded, especially those that lower your blood pressure or make you urinate more. The solution might be as simple as taking a smaller dose or switching prescriptions.
3. Low blood sugar: Without blood sugar the body, including the brain, effectively goes to sleep as it tries to conserve energy. This causes feelings of light-headedness and confusion. A glass of juice might relieve the symptoms, but it’s worth getting your blood sugar levels checked.
4. Heart attack and stroke: At its most severe, light-headedness can be a sign of a heart attack or stroke, especially if it doesn’t go away. Signs of a heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and arm, back or jaw pain. Signs of a stroke are a sudden headache, numbness, weakness, vision changes, trouble with walking and slurred speech.
5. Dizziness: While patients feeling lightheaded might complain of feeling faint, someone reporting dizziness is more likely to feel that the room is spinning. Don’t ignore bouts of dizziness as they can lead to falls and injuries, especially among older adults.
Put the kettle on
Tea has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack, certain cancers, diabetes and Parkinson’s. Now a study from Singapore suggests that drinking as little as one cup of tea daily can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older adults.
The “write” stuff
Journalling is a great way to help people at any age embrace their creativity, share significant memories, and keep the mind healthy and active. It can take whatever form you like try some of these writing prompts to get you started.
o What did you do today?
o What is your favourite way to spend the day?
o What current events or issues do you feel strongly about?
o List 30 things that make you smile.
o What are your pet peeves?
o Find an old photograph of yourself. Write about the memories it inspires.
o Describe your favourite time of year: The scents, the weather, the activities and so on.
o What is the best advice you have ever received?
o What are your pet peeves?
Communication with those with memory loss is, at times, difficult. These tips can help:
• Use the individual’s name: Your loved one should respond to their name, so use it before talking to get their attention.
• Be helpful: If they are having trouble placing a word or thought, gently suggest an option or try to provide what they’re looking for.
• Walk them through it: Instead of telling a person with memory loss what to do, show them how and what to do, and even have them practice.
• Provide lots of reminders: In the course of regular conversation, remind your loved one about events that are coming up.
Getting enough B12
Vitamin B12 and folate perform several important functions in the body, including keeping the nervous system healthy. A deficiency in either of these vitamins can cause a wide range of problems, including:
• extreme fatigue
• pins and needles (paraesthesia)
• a sore and red tongue
• mouth ulcers
• muscle weakness
• disturbed vision
• psychological problems or confusion
• problems with memory, understanding and judgment
See your doctor if you think you may have a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency. These conditions can often be diagnosed based on your symptoms and the results of a blood test.
Not only is smiling contagious, but it’s been proven to
A) Improve your mood
B) Relieve stress
C) Boost your immune system
If the shoe fits…
In order to get the best fit try these helpful suggestions:
• Do not go up a size: This sounds counter-intuitive, but swollen feet do not necessarily equal larger shoes.
• Avoid shoes that are too big, to help reduce the chances of tripping or falling: Adaptive footwear accommodates all types of foot conditions; simply order the size you would usually take.
• When in doubt, measure the foot: Not everyone relishes a trip to the shoe store, which can make this difficult. If that’s the case, take the foot’s measurements with a tape measure or ruler. This will allow shoe stores to suggest a size that meets your needs.
If you’re afraid of falling, consider painting door thresholds, or using colourful safety tape in a contrasting colour as a visual signal.