One thing I see often, especially in older adults, is that when people lose their spouse or have some kind of tragedy in their life, they may begin to turn to drinking alcohol for relief from the feelings that they are experiencing.
The consumption of alcohol may be related to dizziness, vertigo, balance problems and falls in multiple ways.
Alcohol and medication very substantially interact with each other.
This combination of medication and alcohol can cause dizziness, vertigo and balance problems for a lot of people.
Sometimes people come to me because they think they have a balance problem, and it turns out that what they really have is an alcohol drinking issue. This is an issue that may need to be addressed to reduce the dizziness, vertigo or balance impairment that one is feeling in relation to alcohol causing vertigo.
Even if you are not on any medications, alcohol can still be a strong influence on dizziness and vertigo.
Alcohol is also a great way to artificially introduce vertigo within yourself, with a hangover, because it is such a strong dehydrator. Alcohol can cause vertigo or it can actually give you an artificial experience of vertigo if you are not someone who normally has it.
Overall, I would encourage you to think about if your balance issues or your dizziness correlate with alcohol consumption.
If you already have a vestibular problem, drinking alcohol may increase your symptom intensity and increase your risk of falling.
If you are experiencing dizziness, vertigo or balance problems, and you do not believe that it is related to alcohol consumption, it is important to see a vestibular expert to assess the root cause(s) of your dizziness or vertigo.
Dizziness and vertigo can cause falls, which can cause serious injury and have a substantial impact on your life.
It is important to address alcohol consumption since alcohol can cause dizziness, vertigo, balance problems and falls. If this is something that affects you, it is best to reduce your alcohol intake which will ultimately reduce the potential impact that dizziness and vertigo can have on your life, right now and in the future.
It is also a good idea to look for other healthy coping strategies besides alcohol to reduce your life stress like a support group and individual counseling.
This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.