What is Vestibular dysfunction?
Vestibular dysfunction occurs when the vestibular system in the inner ear is not functioning properly. The vestibular system plays a critical role in maintaining balance and coordination and stabilizing gaze when head is moving. If this system is impaired, you can experience vertigo (sensation of spinning), dizziness, nausea, vomiting, imbalance, vision changes and light- headedness.
Physiotherapists who are trained in vestibular rehabilitation provide assessment and treatment for the following vestibular dysfunctions:
- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
- Vestibular neuritis
- Meniere’s Disease
- Migraine related dizziness
- Bilateral peripheral vestibulopathy
- Post-concussion dizziness
Treatments for Vestibular Dysfunctions
- Epley’s maneuver for BPPV
- Gaze stabilization exercises
- Balance retraining
- Gait retraining
- Fall prevention
What to expect at your initial assessment
Initial assessment is usually an hour long and involves a detailed history taking and a complete clinical assessment. The clinical assessment involves performing a series of specific tests to determine the source of your dizziness and irregular eye movement is observed using Frenzel lenses. The findings from the assessment are then used to create an individualized treatment plan which can involve specific head maneuvers and exercise programs. Some vestibular disorders can resolve in 1 to 3 visits, whereas other types can require more time.
The assessment will likely reproduce your symptoms and it is recommended that you have someone accompany you to your appointment.