21 Mar 2022
5 Facts You Should Know About Vestibular DisordersVestibular disorders are common among the Canadian adult population. These are conditions that disturb the body’s balance, causing intense dizziness, imbalance, and discomfort. Here are five common facts about vestibular disorders that you should know about.
There Are Several Types of Vestibular DisordersVestibular disorders consist of various ailments pertaining to the vestibular system. The latter comprises the brain and the inner ear, which are responsible for processing sensory information. Any injury, trauma, or disease affecting either of these parts or the components within them can result in some form of vestibular disorder. So, what are the most common types of vestibular disorders? Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV is among the most commonly diagnosed disorders. A person with BPPV experiences vertigo and dizziness because of the accumulated debris in the inner ear. This debris sends false signals to the brain when the head is moved, causing a sudden feeling of being swayed. Individuals with this disorder frequently a spinning sensation. Labyrinthitis is another common vestibular disorder. It occurs when the labyrinth within the ear gets inflamed. As a result, the affected individual may experience a loss of balance and hearing, nausea, ear pain, and pus coming from their ear. Then there’s Ménière’s disease, which is caused by fluid accumulation in the inner ear. This particular vestibular disorder results in recurring symptoms, including hearing loss, vertigo, ear pressure, and tinnitus. In addition to the aforementioned conditions, vestibular disorders also include:
- Vestibular neuritis
- Secondary endolymphatic hydrops
- Superior semicircular canal dehiscence
- Mal de Débarquement
- Acoustic neuroma
- Vestibular migraine
- Perilymph fistula
- Enlarged vestibular aqueduct
The Causes of Vestibular Disorders VaryGiven the many types of vestibular disorders, it’s unsurprising that a number of factors can cause the conditions. Vestibular disorders can occur due to an injury, a pre-existing medical condition such as autoimmune diseases, an infection, drug or chemical poisoning, or even ageing. Additionally, many vestibular disorders are a result of unexplained causes. The most common causes of vestibular disorders are:
- Ear infections
- Poor circulation to or within the ear
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Ear injuries
- Debris accumulation in the semicircular canals
Vestibular Disorders Are Difficult To DiagnoseOne of the reasons why vestibular disorders are considered complex conditions is that they’re tricky to diagnose. It isn’t uncommon for an individual to reach out to multiple physicians and get various consultations before they finally receive an accurate diagnosis. Despite being quite prevalent, vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose even by the most experienced professionals. This usually has to do with the fact that the common symptoms of vestibular disorders include conditions that are commonly associated with other ailments. For instance, frequent dizziness and headaches may be associated with several other conditions before an accurate diagnosis is made. This is also why treating vestibular disorders is challenging.
Vestibular Disorders Affect a Person’s Emotional & Mentally HealthWe’ve discussed some of the most common physical symptoms of vestibular disorders. However, there’s more to these conditions than just physical symptoms. Individuals with vestibular disorders are also affected in other ways. For starters, they tend to experience mental fatigue. This may include feeling overwhelmed, being unable to focus, and struggling with remembering things. Then there’s the issue of misdiagnoses. Many individuals feel extremely frustrated because their symptoms are often dismissed as being “not that severe”. They may also be considered lazy and are often misunderstood because of their frequent health complaints, which only adds to their frustration. Many people also deal with severe anxiety and depression because of the fear that they’ll become dependent on others.
Vestibular Disorders Can Be Treated Through Physiotherapy & RehabilitationWhile there’s no cure for vestibular disorders, there are several treatments that can be applied to improve the quality of life of people with these conditions. This includes physical therapy. Rehabilitation techniques are commonly used to treat vestibular disorders. These involve multiple physiotherapy modalities and approaches that target physical balance, strength, and activity. For instance, a treatment plan may include various strengthening exercises to help build body strength and restore balance. Similarly, specific balancing exercises are usually used to improve stability and help individuals feel more in control of their bodies and movements. Gaze stability exercises are also used to improve focus. These strengthen the vestibular system and help prevent dizziness and feelings of being unfocused. Vestibular Therapy in Edmonton At Boost Physiotherapy, we offer comprehensive vestibular therapy services in Edmonton. We have a team of trained physiotherapists who specialise in the modalities needed to improve balance and alleviate discomfort and dizziness. We’ll use the best physical therapy strategies to treat your specific symptoms, incorporating therapeutic exercises, acupuncture, dry needling, and other hands-on techniques to help you find relief. Get in touch with our trained physiotherapists in Edmonton for personalised physiotherapy and vestibular therapy services in the area. Book an appointment now!
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