Report: Many over 40 have inner ear damage

May 25, 2009 A new report finds many US adults over the age of 40 have inner ear damage. And that can lead to dangerous falls.

Many people with a balance disorder may feel dizzy or experience nausea or headache. Researchers say this happens when a person's vestibular system isn't working properly. It's this system that sends information to the brain about head motion and body position.

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine estimates that one-third of US adults 40 and older have this disorder. That makes them 12 times more likely to have a serious and potentially fatal fall.

Researchers are now urging balance testing to become part of basic primary care.

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