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Vestibular Rehabilitation: How to Treat Ear Dysfunction

If you are experiencing issues with your balance, dizziness, or nausea, you may need vestibular rehabilitation. This type of therapy is focused on restoring balance and function to the vestibular system. In this blog post, we will discuss what the vestibular system is, common causes of dysfunction, and the treatment options available to you at Twin Boro Physical Therapy.

Vestibular Rehabilitation: How to Treat Ear Dysfunction

What is the Vestibular System?

The vestibular system is responsible for our sense of balance and movement. It is made up of three parts:

  • The inner ear: This is where our sense of balance is controlled
  • The vestibular nerve: This connects the inner ear to the brain.
  • The central nervous system: This includes the brain and spinal cord.

What is the Vestibular Dysfunction?

There are two types of vestibular dysfunction: peripheral and central. Both types can lead to problems with movement, coordination, and even vision.

  • Peripheral dysfunction: This occurs when there is a problem with the inner ear or the vestibular nerve.
  • Central dysfunction: This occurs when there is a problem with the brain or spinal cord.

Common Causes of Vestibular Dysfunction

There are many different causes of vestibular dysfunction. Some common causes include:

  • Inner ear infections: This is the most common cause of vestibular dysfunction. The infection can cause inflammation and damage to the inner ear.
  • Migraines: Migraines can cause vestibular dysfunction by affecting the brainstem or trigeminal nerve.
  • Stroke: A stroke can damage the areas of the brain responsible for balance and movement.
  • Multiple sclerosis: This is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. It can cause vestibular dysfunction by damaging the nerves that connect the brain to the inner ear.
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This is a condition that causes dizziness when you move your head in certain positions. It is caused by small crystals of calcium carbonate that build up in the inner ear.
  • Meniere’s Disease: This is a condition that causes dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing loss. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the inner ear.

Symptoms of Vestibular Dysfunction

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms of a vestibular disorder are:

  • Dizziness
  • Imbalance
  • Spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Visual disturbances

These symptoms can be caused by many different things ranging from an inner ear infection to more serious issues such as Meniere’s disease. Regardless of the cause, it is important to seek out proper treatment so that you can live a normal, pain-free life.

How Does Vestibular Rehabilitation Work?

Vestibular rehabilitation can include learning special exercises to help improve your balance, along with other treatments such as:

  • Repositioning maneuvers: These are exercises that help to move debris out of the ear canal so that it no longer affects your balance.
  • Balance retraining: This helps your brain learn how to compensate for the vestibular dysfunction.
  • Stretching and strengthening: This helps to improve your overall balance and stability.
  • Gait and gaze stabilization: This helps you to focus on objects while you are moving so that you do not get dizzy.

5 Benefits of Vestibular Rehabilitation

Vestibular rehabilitation has many benefits, including:

  • Decreases risk of falling
  • Decreases overall negative symptoms, including dizziness and vertigo
  • For most patients, does not take a long time
  • Is a form of therapy, so surgery is not needed in most cases to correct
  • The exercises are not difficult to learn

Who Can Receive Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Anyone experiencing a complication within their vestibular system can receive this therapy, including patients who have been diagnosed with vertigo, imbalance, dizziness, and other primary and secondary dysfunctions in their vestibular systems.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

The desired results range from each individual. Typically, vestibular rehabilitation is the only treatment needed to help with dysfunctions in the vestibular systems. The average duration of this therapy is 6-8 weeks and most patients see a significant decrease in their symptoms.

 How Successful is Vestibular Rehabilitation?

Vestibular rehabilitation is an extremely beneficial form of therapy for those experiencing vestibular dysfunction. It is a short-term commitment with long-lasting results that can improve your quality of life significantly. At Twin Boro Physical Therapy we have a high success rate at treating Vertigo with physical therapy. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we discussed in this blog post, please contact us so that we can help you get on the road to recovery!

Why Choose Twin Boro for Vestibular Rehabilitation? 

At Twin Boro Physical Therapy, we take pride in maximizing and improving the function and quality of our patients’ lives. Our team of vestibular rehabilitation therapists are experts in the treatment of dysfunctions of the vestibular systems. We offer a variety of treatment options that can help improve your symptoms and allow you to live your healthiest life!

To locate the closest vestibular rehabilitation therapist’s clinic near you, visit the Twin Boro Find a Location directory to search by the ZIP code. Contact us today for a free screening or consultation with one of vestibular rehabilitation therapists. Our team will listen to your concerns, help determine if you are a candidate for vestibular rehabilitation and guide you through the scheduling process to make it as seamless as possible!

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