Dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness, faintness, or unsteadiness. Unlike dizziness, vertigo has a rotational, spinning component, and is the perception of movement, either of the self or surrounding objects. Disequilibrium simply means unsteadiness, imbalance, or loss of equilibrium that is often accompanied by spatial disorientation. Vertigo is the perception of movement or whirling - either of the self or surrounding objects.
The form of treatment prescribed for vestibular disorders depends upon symptoms, medical history and general health, a physical examination by a qualified doctor, and diagnostic test results. In addition to being treated for any underlying disease that may be contributing to the balance disorder, treatment can include:
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)
VRT is an exercise-based program designed to promote central nervous system compensation for inner ear deficits. Even individuals with long-term unresolved inner ear disorders who have undergone a period of medical management with little or no success may benefit. VRT can also help people with an acute or abrupt loss of vestibular function following surgery for vestibular problems.
BPPV Treatment The Canalith Repositioning Procedure is also known as the "Epley maneuver."
BPPV occurs as a result of displaced otoconia, which are small crystals of calcium carbonate (also referred to as "otoliths" or “canaliths”) that are normally attached to the otolithic membrane in the utricle of the inner ear. Because of trauma, infection, or even simple aging, canaliths can detach from the utricle and collect within the semicircular canals. Head movements shift the detached canaliths and stimulate sensitive nerve hairs to send false signals to the brain, causing dizziness and other symptoms. The goal of the canalith repositioning procedure (CRP), a form of vestibular rehabilitation therapy, is to move the displaced canaliths to stop these false signals and the debilitating symptoms they can cause.
Home exercises are often a vital part of treatment. Appropriate VRT exercises will be assigned by the physical or occupational therapist to be performed at a prescribed pace, along with a progressive fitness program to increase energy and reduce stress.
Balance-strengthening and general fitness - The success of any balance-retraining program depends in part on good general fitness. Progressive fitness programs increase energy and reduce stress. Therapists may recommend low-impact aerobics or a walking program to improve overall fitness.