Have you ever wondered how you’re able to safely walk through a room in your home in complete darkness? Do you marvel at your ability to maintain your balance as you go about your day? Most of us never think about these basic abilities until we start to lose them.
Your vestibular system, which includes the inner ears and areas of your brain, is a complex network that processes information about body and head position, spatial awareness, balance, eye movement, and posture. Dysfunction of the vestibular system can cause dizziness, vertigo, and a variety of other symptoms.
Vestibular dysfunction may have numerous causes. At NeuroHealth, we use innovative diagnostic procedures to find out what’s causing your symptoms. We then develop a progressive treatment plan to improve vestibular system function and to help you feel well again.
Types of Vestibular Dysfunction Doctors and researchers have identified dozens of different vestibular disorders. Here are the ones we see the most often at NeuroHealth:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – A sudden spinning sensation due to positional changes of your head or body (like rolling over in bed). BPPV is associated with the abnormal movement of gravity-sensitive crystals inside the inner ear.
Labyrinthitis – A balance disorder caused by inflammation of the inner ear. The cause of this condition is usually a common cold, flu, or viral infection.
Vestibular neuritis – Dizziness caused by irritation of the vestibular nerve.
Meniere’s disease – A progressive type of vestibular dysfunction thought to be related to increased pressure from an unusually large amount of fluid in the inner ear; its cause is unknown, but symptoms may be triggered by stress, fatigue, pressure changes, and too much salt in the diet.
Other conditions that may cause vestibular dysfunction include autoimmune diseases, head trauma, and stroke.
Symptoms of Vestibular Dysfunction You may have a vestibular disorder if you notice any of the following symptoms:
Dizziness and vertigo (the sensation that you or the world around you is spinning even when it's not)
Nausea and vomiting
Vision problems (double vision; sensitivity to light and glare)
Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or other hearing problems
A feeling of pressure in the ears
Poor balance or walking (clumsiness, awkward gait, incoordination)
Cognitive issues like impaired concentration and memory
The specific type of symptoms you experience depends on the underlying cause, which can influence treatment, too. So it's important to get a correct diagnosis.
Diagnosing and Treating Vestibular Dysfunction At NeuroHealth, we use specific diagnostic tests to localize the area of dysfunction causing symptoms. Tests include:
Neurological exam including examination of the vestibular system
Once we've pinpointed the cause of your symptoms, we can develop a customized treatment plan to alleviate symptoms and improve your overall health.
We may prescribe exercises that strengthen the communication between structures in your inner ear and brain, improve eye movement and coordination, and improve overall balance. We also use treatments like electrical stimulation and laser therapy to stimulate tissue healing and provide feedback about abnormal movement patterns. We'll modify your plan of care to best meet your needs at every stage of recovery.
Schedule an Appointment Today
The team at NeuroHealth has spent the last 20+ years helping people from Indianapolis and surrounding areas understand and overcome their vestibular dysfunction symptoms. If you need help getting back in balance, contact NeuroHealth now at (317) 848-6000 to schedule an initial appointment.