What is the vestibular system and what does it do?
The vestibular system is part of the inner ear and is associated with problems in balance and position or movement related dizziness. Hearing may or may not be affected with an inner ear disorder. Symptoms may come on gradually and become worse, or come on suddenly and last for a short amount of time.
What is vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VTR)?
It is common for medication to be prescribed to suppress the vestibular system and reduce symptoms. The medications can cause drowsiness limiting the person’s ability to be active while also interfering with a person’s ability to adaptation to the disorder. VTR is an alternative treatment that, in most cases, can eliminate the symptoms by promoting central nervous system compensation of inner ear impairments.
What does vestibular rehab consist of?
The program is patient specific but may include:
- Coordinating eye and head movements
- Stimulating the symptoms of dizziness in order to desensitize the vestibular system
- Improving balance and walking ability
- Improving fitness and endurance
Who can benefit from vestibular rehab?
- Diagnosis of BPPV, unilateral or bilateral vestibular hypofunction, Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, and vestibular neuritis
- Acute or chronic dizziness
- Increasing or frequent falls
- Blurred or double vision