Your Dizziness And Balance Resource
Dizziness, vertigo, and balance disorders are common conditions affecting about 90 million Americans during their lifetime. For some, these are simply an everyday inconvenience, but more than one-half of the accidental deaths in the elderly and over 300,000 hip fractures in individuals over age 65 are from balance-related falls.
Your Ears And Balance
The fluid inside the semi-circular canals interacts with hairlike cells along the walls of the canals, detecting up, down, and side-to-side movements. Whenever the hairlike cells detect movement and changes to the position of your head, they transmit a signal to the brain, which directs other parts of the body to react in order to keep you upright.
Disorders of the vestibular system cause it to overreact to minor movements or even when you are completely still, causing serious problems like vertigo, imbalance, nausea, and vomiting. Vestibular system damage is not limited to the elderly and can affect people of any age due to disease, syndromes, toxins, or trauma.
The Symptoms Of Balance Disorder
Vestibular migraines are another symptom associated with valance disorders, which affects one in every four females and one in every six males and is classified as a strongly hereditary neurological disorder. Rather than causing a headache, these migraines cause dizziness, vertigo, nausea, eye pain, and changes in vision.
Types Of Balance Disorders
Labyrinthitis or Vestibular Neuronitis
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) or Disembarkment Syndrome
This includes a sensation of prolonged movement like the rocking of a boat or motion of a treadmill even after you have gotten off of them.
Identifying the source of your vertigo, dizziness, or balance challenges involves a full vestibular examination and audiological evaluation (if not done before the appointment). A full vestibular examination includes a series of inner ear, eye movement, and neurological connection evaluations to identify the cause of your vertigo or dizziness.
In order to provide the most accurate results from vestibular testing, there are specific actions you need to take or avoid before your appointment, including:
Eat only a light meal to reduce nausea that might occur during testing
Avoid applying eye make-up, which can affect eye movement tests
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for 48 prior to testing
How To Treat Dizziness and Balance
Medication is used to treat inflammation-causing infections like labyrinthitis and vestibular neuronitis and to help manage the pressure related to Meniere’s disease. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is among our most common treatment options for dizziness, vertigo, and balance challenges.
VRT involves the use of a series of exercises designed to help desensitize the balance system, especially as it adjusts to certain movements. Its purpose is to allow patients to move around freely without triggering dizziness or vertigo, protecting them from becoming unsteady on their feet and preventing falls.
Among the therapeutic approaches to treat BPPV is Canalith Repositioning, which has produced measurable results for the last 25 years. The treatment takes only minutes and is successful in treating 95% of patients, usually in less than 3-4 treatments. These maneuvers help to remove the otoconia from the semicircular canal and bring them back to the utricle where it belongs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vestibular Testing
#1 – How long does the vestibular test take?
#2 – Does the vestibular test hurt at all?
No, you should experience no pain during the test, but you may feel a little more dizzy than usual, as your doctor will need to examine the extent of your problem.
#3 – What happens after the test?
Following a vestibular test, in most cases, your doctor of audiology will provide a physician with the results, and they will be able to offer further treatment suggestions.
#4 – Can a vestibular disorder be cured?
Treatment varies based on each individual’s needs. Your doctor will determine which treatment plan is best for you. Treatment can include physical therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, canalith repositioning maneuvers, or referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialists
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