Dizziness can be stubborn – what you need to know

pt HealthVestibular Rehabilitation

Dizziness is common, and can affect 20-30% of people in their lifetime. Vestibular problems are often the cause. Whether you’re experiencing dizziness for the first time or have reoccurring symptoms – we can help.

What is vestibular rehabilitation?

The vestibular system includes the organs that we have in the inner ear to sense head movement and position, plus the parts of the brain that process that information. Vestibular rehabilitation is well-researched and leverages a variety of techniques proven to reduce or eliminate symptoms and get you back to life.

Why do my symptoms reoccur?

It really depends on your diagnosis or condition. Some are naturally episodic or have a tendency to reoccur. Some conditions also require determination and persistence on your part to optimize and maintain your recovery. Whether this is your first experience with dizziness, vertigo or balance issues or a reoccurrence, vestibular therapists are equipped to guide you toward recovery.

What is the difference between dizziness and vertigo?

Vertigo is defined as a sensation of motion taking place that isn’t actually occurring. In North America it conjures up the idea of spinning, but it could technically be other senses of motion as well. There are numerous causes but the most common is a sudden mismatch between what the ears are saying about your head position/motion. This could include causes like BPPV, an inner ear infection, inner ear trauma, Meniere’s disease, etc. The mismatch these conditions create causes nystagmus, which is an involuntary eye movement that will make it look like things are moving when they’re not.

Dizziness a much more general ‘catch-all’ phrase used to describe the sensation of disturbed or impaired spatial orientation.

You certainly don’t need to have vertigo for it to be a vestibular problem.

What can I do?

For most people experiencing dizziness, vertigo or balance issues, a vestibular assessment is a great place to start. However, if the symptoms you are experiencing are new or you have never spoken to your doctor about them, we suggest you start there as not all dizziness is vestibular related.

If you’ve tried vestibular rehabilitation before, you may need to get back to treatment. Be sure to communicate with your therapist. Be honest about what worked or didn’t work in the past. Your input and dedication to your rehabilitation are key to successful recovery.

To learn more about vestibular rehabilitation, check out our services page. If you’re interested in booking an assessment with a vestibular therapist, find a clinic near you and book online.

This blog post originally appeared on Lifemark.ca and was written by Krista McIntyre, National Director of Program Development, Specialty Services.

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