Posted by: seattledizzygroup | September 20, 2015

Making a Difference for Balance Awareness

Together We Are Making A Difference!

Every September, the Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) hosts Balance Awareness Week to “Defeat Dizziness” with a goal of reducing the time it takes to diagnose a vestibular disorder by increasing awareness.

Though an estimated 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) have experienced vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives, chronic vestibular disorders are quite difficult to diagnose.  Currently, a patient may need to consult as many as  four or five doctors over a period of several years to receive an accurate vestibular diagnosis.  Unfortunately, even with a diagnosis, there is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders and usually patients must adapt to a “new normal” with many health challenges and various life-altering limitations.  Additionally, people living with a chronic vestibular disorder are often misunderstood and stigmatized by society as having an “invisible” illness which may cause them to be negatively perceived as not sick, overreacting, exaggerating or faking symptoms, lazy, drunk, unintelligent, etc.  (For more information, see: www.vestibular.org).

While there is still much awareness that needs to be raised for vestibular and balance disorders, together we are making a difference.  It is very encouraging that there is now substantially more information and support available for people suffering from vestibular and balance disorders than there was just a decade ago.

Since our founding in 2006, Seattle Dizzy Group has been committed to supporting people living with chronic dizziness and imbalance including being a part of helping to make a difference during Balance Awareness Week. Seattle Dizzy Group has served as an inspiration and model for expanded Balance Awareness Week activities and events across the nation and beyond.

Over the years, Seattle Dizzy Group has participated in Balance Awareness Week with online and email awareness campaigns as well as contacting Congress regarding the challenges of living with a chronic vestibular or balance disorder (including the difficulty of being approved for Social Security disability benefits).  We have also hosted guest speakers on balance-related topics during Balance Awareness Week.

In 2011, Seattle Dizzy Group increased our efforts to raise awareness and came up with the idea to create Balance Awareness Wristbands.  At that point in time there was no official awareness color for vestibular and balance disorders, so our group voted and chose a royal blue color. Since then, we have been encouraging everyone to “Wear Blue for Balance.” (We’re excited that our Seattle Dizzy Group phrase has caught on and we’re seeing more and more online posts from around the world echoing “Wear Blue for Balance”). As for the BALANCE Wristbands we created, we send them to people worldwide who wear them with a sense of solidarity with others seeking balance.  We also encourage friends and family to wear our BALANCE Wristbands as a great, fashionable way to show they care. (Get a free BALANCE Wristband with a donation to Seattle Dizzy Group! www.seattledizzygroup.org/balance-wristbands).

Additionally in 2011, Seattle Dizzy Group started celebrating Balance Awareness Week with an annual walk in order to help create greater awareness for vestibular and balance disorders and show our support for people living with chronic dizziness and imbalance–in Seattle and beyond. We strive to grow and improve our Walk for Balance Event each year with increased community involvement.

Our 2013 Walk for Balance Event was mentioned in a King5 news article featuring our guest speaker Julie Grove MPT and the unique balance training environment she offers at Cascade Dizziness and Balance PT.

Last year, Seattle Dizzy Group chose “Walk a Mile in Dizzy Shoes” as the slogan for our one-mile awareness walk and we added to our Walk for Balance Event an Information Fair sponsored by local health and balance support providers.

  

This year Seattle Dizzy Group hosted our Fifth Annual Walk for Balance Event on Saturday, September 19th (www.seattledizzygroup.org/walk-for-balance).  We had a fun time and increased our impact during our walk at Green Lake by wearing blue, Seattle Dizzy Group gear, and Walk for Balance badge stickers as well as carrying balloons and balance awareness signs. (We were stopped numerous times on our walk by people who are also struggling with chronic dizziness and imbalance or who know someone with a vestibular or balance disorder. We were glad to have the opportunity to provide helpful information and connect others in our community with local balance support resources including inviting them to join Seattle Dizzy Group at an upcoming meeting). After walking together, we honored event participants with our first annual Dizzy Spirit Awards (for Wearing the Most Blue for Balance, Best Use of Walking Aids, Most Dizzy Group Spirit, and Perseverance, etc.). We have received very positive feedback from event participants and we are already looking forward to Balance Awareness Week 2016 and our Sixth Annual Walk for Balance Event!

Seattle Dizzy Group is so glad to have contributed to raising balance awareness over the years.  It is wonderful to see the progress that has been made in support of people living with chronic dizziness and imbalance! Please join us in continuing to create greater awareness for vestibular and balance disorders beyond Balance Awareness Week.   Together we can continue to make a difference!

Information to share with others:

Top Ten Facts About Vestibular Disorders

Raise Balance Awareness

Balance Awareness Facts, Figures & Trivia

To learn more about vestibular & balance disorders, visit: www.vestibular.org

© Copyright 2015, Seattle Dizzy Group. All rights reserved.

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Responses

  1. […] Seattle Dizzy Group is a respected leader in the vestibular and balance disorders patient support community with increasing national and global reach. (Read about our 2015 Highlights below). We anticipate more good things to come and are excited for the year ahead, especially since we will be celebrating 10 years together this fall.  We hope you will join us in 2016 and help us continue to grow, provide much-needed community, and offer support to people living with chronic dizziness and imbalance–in Seattle and beyond.  With your help, we can continue to expand community outreach and involvement (including hosting professional speakers on various vestibular/balance topics and connecting with local health providers/resources) and also increase our advocacy efforts to raise awareness about vestibular and balance disorders (including participating in Balance Awareness Week with our annual Walk for Balance Event, see Making a Difference for Balance Awareness). […]

  2. […] (Also, see how we are Making a Difference for Balance Awareness)  […]

  3. […] Seattle Dizzy Group is a respected leader in the vestibular and balance disorders patient support community with increasing national and global reach. (Read about our 2016 Highlights below). We hope you will join us in 2017 and help us continue to grow, provide much-needed community, and offer support to people living with chronic dizziness and imbalance–in Seattle and beyond.  With your help, we can continue to expand community outreach and involvement (including hosting professional speakers on various vestibular/balance topics and connecting with local health providers/resources) and also increase our advocacy efforts to raise awareness about vestibular and balance disorders (including participating in Balance Awareness Week with our annual Walk for Balance Event, see Making a Difference for Balance Awareness). […]

  4. […] (Also, find out how Seattle Dizzy Group is Making a Difference for Balance Awareness)  […]


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