The Vestibular System

The vestibular system is located in your inner ears. It sends sensory information to the brain which helps coordinate your balance. If the vestibular system is damaged or particles become loose and you may experience dizzy spells – also known as vertigo.

Common symptoms of vestibular disorders

  • Vertigo: spinning, whirling, feeling of movement
  • Dizziness: light headedness, floating, rocking, unsteadiness
  • Imbalance and Spatial Problems: difficulty walking, turning, balance. Lack of coordination. Sensitivity to changing walking surfaces.
  • Visual Problems: difficulty focusing, tracking. Objects moving. Sensitivity to light. Busy environment may increase symptoms e.g. Shopping malls, crowds, theatres
  • Hearing Problems: tinnitus, hearing loss, noise sensitivity
  • Cognitive Problems: focusing, concentration, short term memory difficulty
  • Other: psychological issues, nausea, vomiting, headache, motion sickness

Treatments Commonly Include:

  • Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT): This is a progressive exercise plan used to rehabilitate the vestibular system through compensation
  • Positioning Maneuvers: Your Physiotherapist can decrease symptoms from BPPV through certain maneuvers by dislodging the crystals in the inner ear. This treatment has a success rate of 90% in BPPV cases.
  • Home Exercise: Balance retraining exercises can help with walking, bending, standing reaching or turning