Have you recently started experiencing episodes of dizziness, vertigo, lightheadedness, etc? If so, you’re not alone. Approximately 35.4% of US adults experience these symptoms annually and this is the most common reason for individuals 75 years and older to visit their Doctor. These are all symptoms of vestibular system dysfunction. This system is located within the inner ear and consists of 3 semicircular canals and a cranial nerve. The vestibular system is responsible for
stabilizing your eye movement while moving your head and notifying your brain where your head is in relation to your body. Just like any other organ and system in your body, the vestibular system can malfunction and cause unwelcoming symptoms. Dysfunction of this system can lead to decreased ability to perform activities of daily living, impact your ability to drive and concentrate at work or school, and decreased balance which can significantly increase your risk of falls. Falls can lead to bone fractures, concussions, and increased mortality rate in the elderly population.
You may be asking, how does such a little system become dysfunctional? The most commonly diagnosed vestibular dysfunction is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and is caused by crystals within the canals becoming detached and moving freely through the canals. BPPV will present with increased symptoms with positional changes, for example, turning to the right in bed or going from lying down to sitting. Other causes of vestibular dysfunction include, sports injury (concussions), motor vehicle accident (whiplash), side effect of taking 4 or more medications, prolonged use of antibiotics, and ear infections.
Research indicates that vestibular rehabilitation along with conventional medications prescribed by your Doctor (if indicated) can decrease your recovery time and get you back to symptom free activity sooner. Physical Therapy services will include retraining your vestibular system, improving your balance, and overall improving your quality of life.
If you or someone that you know experiences dizziness or other symptoms that might indicate a vestibular dysfunction, seek medical attention and ask for a referral for vestibular rehabilitation. The sooner a condition is diagnosed, the more effectively it can be treated and the sooner you or your loved one can return to your daily activities symptom free, with the help of your local physical therapist at the Physical Therapy Center of Bristol or the Physical Therapy Center of Southington/Cheshire.
For more information please contact, Kaitlyn Hamel, Physical Therapist at 860-585-5800 (Bristol)/ 203-272-8490 (Southington/Chesire) or email@example.com, to help with all their rehabilitation needs.
The Physical Therapy Center of Bristol, LLC has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. If there are future topics you would like discussed in this column, please feel free to contact via email.