Have you ever experienced dizziness, a loss of balance or feelings of the room spinning? Have you had sensitivity to light and sound and had a headache? If so, you may have been experiencing a problem with your vestibular system.
The vestibular system is an integral part of our bodies ability to balance and orientate itself. Made up of various components in the inner ear, the vestibular system is a complex network or sensory receptors, tubuoles, and other components that send input to the brain with relation to balance, movement and body orientation.
Whenever there is dysregulation of the vestibular system, you may feel a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms are:
- Vertigo ( feelings of the room spinning around you)
- Balance and spatial disorientation (imbalance, stumbling, difficulty walking straight, difficulty with coordination, head tilting to one side, the need to hold onto something when standing and walking)
- Trouble focusing on objects
- Sensitivity to light and moving or flickering lights
- Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing or other noises in the ear)
- Sensitivity to loud noises
- Motion sickness or sensitivity
- The sensation of your eyes lagging when you are looking around
Thankfully, there are many ways that we can help. Vestibular Rehabilitation is a form of physiotherapy that uses specialized exercises to treat vestibular dysfunction including habituation and gaze stabilization, among other things, to improve vestibular function, balance and decrease the feelings of dizziness.
During the initial appointment, your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough vestibular assessment including a health history, oculomotor screening and specific vestibular testing. Based upon the findings of this assessment, your physiotherapist will create and discuss a treatment plan to best relieve your symptoms. The ultimate goal of the treatment plan is to decrease and depending on the findings, to resolve your dizziness, as well as to provide you education on management and prevention when possible. After asking any questions that you may have, and after ensuring you feel secure in the proposed treatment, your physiotherapist will work with you to try and improve your current health state.