Vestibular physiotherapists can help assess, diagnose, and treat or educate patients on the above conditions. Often there are multiple factors involved in the treatment of vestibular dysfunction, vision, vestibular, and mental health factors. Your physiotherapist can treat, provide a home exercise program, educate, and recommend specialists as needed.
Vestibular system disorders include:
- Head trauma (whiplash, concussion)
- Vestibular system degeneration i.e. in the ageing population
- Vestibular neuritis/labrynthitis
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Meniere’s Disease
- Ototoxicity, barotrauma, acoustic neuroma
What are the signs and symptoms of a vestibular dysfunction?
Signs and symptoms of vestibular dysfunction include dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, nystagmus, & difficulty stabilizing vision. Dizziness is used to describe a variety of sensations like spinning, light-headedness, swaying, & disorientation. Vertigo is a type of dizziness where, for a brief period, your surroundings feel like they are moving. People that experience dizziness, gait and balance dysfunctions or who have post-concussion syndrome may also benefit from vestibular rehabilitation.
What is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)?
BPPV is the most common and treatable cause of vertigo relating to a peripheral vestibular disorder. BPPV is a biomechanical problem in which the crystals in our inner ear, that send messages to the brain about our head position, get stuck or dislodged and send false signals. This inner ear dysfunction results in brief periods of vertigo, nystagmus (abnormal eye movements), and occasionally nausea. Patients with this condition suffer from vertigo that is typically induced by looking up, lying down flat quickly, bending forward and/or rolling in bed. The majority of BPPV cases do not have a specific mechanism of injury; particularly in the over 50 population, it can occur spontaneously. There are 2 variants of BPPV that your vestibular physiotherapist can identify and in most cases treat with a short 10-minute procedure.