Finding Your Balance

Local News

If you’ve noticed you’re feeling a bit off balance you may be experiencing vertigo issues. 

The feeling of dizziness can signal there is a bigger problem, and experts say it’s important to find the cause.

“Just everything seemed to be kind of off kilter. I would be like in a store shopping and all of the sudden everything would just start to spin,” Mary Lais said. 

Lais says this feeling of dizziness would come and go, but when it struck it  left her feeling debilitated. 

“I felt like I was going to fall and the weirdest sensation would be like I stopped walking, but I felt like I was still moving and I always felt like I was moving at a faster pace than what I was comfortable doing,” Lais said. 

Lais had experienced vertigo in the past and knew it was time to see an expert. 

“At the Avera dizziness and balance clinic we see a lot of different types of patients with all types of dizziness and balance issues. We see a lot of clients with vertigo which just means spinning dizziness, caused by inner ear problems,” Physical therapist Kristi Hupp said. 

There isn’t just one simple reason for peoples balance to be thrown off but instead issues can arise for a number of reasons.  

Hupp says some of those reasons are ear infections, sensation changes in your feet, and general aging. She says the most common reason for dizziness is when calcium crystals in your ears get knocked out of place, which is what happened to Lais.

“We look a little bit at vision, inner ear, sensation through the legs and the feet, coordination, muscle strength, and we figure out what’s working, what’s not working,” Hupp said. 

Using goggles that bring on a dizzy spell, Hupp is able to pinpoint what the cause is and begin treating the issue. In Lais’ case, a series of position changes was performed to help float the crystals back into the right place in your ear.

Lais says the simple treatment has helped her gain her life back after feeling debilitated from the dizziness. 

“You really start to, really kind of just become a couch potato, because you know that once I start moving, it’s going to start bringing it on,” Lais said. 

Her advice to others experiencing dizziness or balance issues is to see an expert as soon as you can. 

If you’re experiencing dizziness or balance issues, click here for information on the Avera dizziness and balance clinic. 

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