What You Need to Know About Vestibular Disorders
More than 69 million Americans over the age of 40 have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. Symptoms from vestibular disorders often can be invisible and debilitating. Vestibular disorders often occur when a part of the inner ear and brain that processes sensory information is damaged.
According to Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation physical therapist, Magdalena Pietz vestibular disorders are often associated with one or more of these symptoms, among others:
- Vertigo and dizziness – You feel a spinning or whirling sensation, which can happen when a person is moving or sitting still.
- Imbalance – Vestibular disorder can make you have difficulty maintaining straight posture, tendency to hold onto something when standing or sensitivity to changes in surfaces.
- Hearing changes – You might have hearing loss, sensitivity to loud noises or sudden loud sounds may increase vertigo, dizziness or imbalance.
- Vision disturbance – If you have a vestibular disorder, you might have trouble focusing or tracking objects, discomfort from busy environments, sensitivity to light and difficulty walking in the dark.
- Cognitive changes – You may have difficulty concentrating or understanding conversations, mental fatigue, forgetfulness and disorientation.
TREATING YOUR SYMPTOMS
One of the ways you can feel steadier and treat vestibular disorders is through Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) program. Our expert physical therapists will create an individualized program of guided exercises that can help improve dizziness and other symptoms.
“We provide our patients with individualized programs to help them best meet their goals.” Pietz explains. “Often in our VRT program, patient goals include increasing independence, decreasing likelihood of a fall and improving their daily life. We help our patients achieve these and other activity goals with various treatment options, some of which include vestibular adaptation, vision exercises and the Neurocom SMART Equitest®.”
BENEFITS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY
If you sometimes experience vestibular disorder, Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation’s expert therapists can help you:
- Improve your balance
- Decrease your symptoms, such as dizziness
- Increase your independence in activities of daily living
- Decrease your incidence of falls
- Enhance your postural control
Trust one of our experienced physical therapists trained in balance and vestibular rehabilitation to give you the tools you need to move safely.