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* Studies estimate that as many as 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the US have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.(1)
* 80% of people aged 65 years and older have experienced dizziness.(2)
*BPPV, the most common vestibular disorder, is the cause of approximately 50% of dizziness in older people.(3)
Did you know?
* Your vestibular system includes both your inner ear and parts of the brain that control balance and eye movement.
* Vestibular disorders may develop from viruses, diseases, injury (including falls, concussions, and car accidents), toxins, heredity, or from aging alone.
* If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, you may have a vestibular disorder:
- Vertigo (Spinning/whirling sensation)
- Dizziness (Lightheaded or floating sensation)
- Motion Sensitivity
- Visual Disturbance/Sensitivity or Double Vision
- Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears) or Hearing Loss
- Poor Balance/Unsteadiness
- Rocking/Swaying Sensation
- Headache or Migraine
- Difficulty Thinking/Concentrating ("Brain Fog")
*If you have one or more of these symptoms, I can help you determine the cause(s), develop a personalized treatment program unique to your needs, help you understand your symptoms, and refer you to other specialists in the area as needed.
(1) Agrawal Y, Carey JP, Della Santina CC, Schubert MC, Minor LB. Disorders of balance and vestibular function in US adults. Arch Intern Med. 2009; 169(10): 938-944.
(2)Ator GA. Vertigo-Evalutation and Treatment in the Elderly.
(3) Fife TD, Iverson DJ, Lempert T, Furman JM, Baloh RW, Tusa RJ, Hain TC, Herdman S, Morrow MJ, Gronseth GS. Practice parameter: therapies for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (an evidence-based review): report of the Quality Standards Sumcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.Neurol: 2008; 70: 2067-2074.
What Do Treatments Involve?
- Treatment methods begin with an initial evaluation involving detailed questioning followed by a thorough assessment of your particular vestibular/dizziness symptoms and problems. Typically an exam will include testing balance, gait, vision, and vestibular systems (including BPPV) but may also include examining your neck and neurological function.
- Your unique treatment program will most likely involve a home program in conjunction with in-clinic treatments.
- Treatment modalities range from canalith repositioning maneuvers (e.g. Epley and other treatment techniques) for BPPV ("crystals" in your ear), to eye/gaze stability exercises (VOR), balance re-training, neck/eye coordination exercises, vision therapy, gait training, motion/vision desensitization (habituation) exercises, manual therapy for normalizing neck movement and resolving neck/headache/ear/jaw pain, instruction in exercises and strategies to overcome or cope with symptoms, education about lifestyle/dietary modifications, and/or migraine trigger identification/management. Treatment plans may include referrals back to your PCP or to other specialists for further diagnostics.
- Typically, treatment also involves education regarding the anatomy, role, and function (or dysfunction) of the vestibular system in order to help you gain a better understanding of your condition, and of the expected recovery process for your unique circumstances.
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Find ReBalance Physical Therapy's professional healthcare listing on the VeDA website.
To learn more about the national Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA) based out of Portland, Oregon, click the button below,
or continue to scroll down if you are interested in more information
about specific vestibular disorders.
Vestibular Disorders: Let's Get More Specific!
The Vestibular System
What role does the vestibular system play in balance?
Balance and Vestibular Disorders
What does it feel like to have a vestibular disorder?
Yoga Therapy for Balance
Always check with your doctor regarding your personal safety and health risks before beginning any exercise program.
1. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with balance.
2. Over 35% of US adults aged 40 years and older (69 million Americans) have had a vestibular dysfunction at some point in their lives.
3. Vestibular disorders can be caused by disease, injury, poisoning by drugs or chemicals, autoimmune causes, traumatic brain injury, or aging. Many vestibular disorders occur from unexplained causes.
4. Symptoms of vestibular disorders include dizziness, vertigo (a spinning sensation), imbalance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue, jumping vision, nausea/vomiting, hearing loss, anxiety, and cognitive difficulties.
5. Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose. It is common for a patient to consult 4 or more physicians over a period several years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.
6. There is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders. They may be treated with medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise), surgery, or positional maneuvers. In most cases, patients must adapt to a host of life-altering limitations.
7. Vestibular disorders impact patients and their families physically, mentally, and emotionally. In addition to physical symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo, vestibular patients can experience poor concentration, memory, and mental fatigue. Many vestibular patients suffer from anxiety and depression due to fear of falling and the loss of their independence.
8. Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Vestibular Migraine, Ménière’s disease, Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops, vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis.
9. In the US, medical care for patients with chronic balance disorders exceeds $1 billion per year.
10. The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is the largest patient organization providing information, support, and advocacy for vestibular patients worldwide.