Have you got symptoms of vertigo, dizziness or imbalance?
Your brain and inner ear are likely to be responsible for your problem. The vestibular system is responsible for detecting the rotational and linear motion of the head, and answering the question of “where am I in relation to my environment?”.
There are quite a few conditions that may be causing your problem, and although the symptoms of each condition are often quite similar, the solutions may be quite different. Therefore, it is essential that your diagnosis is accurate.
At MWE, we assess and treat the following vestibular problems:
- Vestibular neuronitis / labrythitis
- Meniere’s disease
- Mal de disembarkment syndrome (MdDS)
- Persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD)
- Vestibular migraine
- Visual motion sensitivity
To understand your problem, we must first assess some important functions, including:
Eye motion – Different parts of the brain are activated to control different types of eye movements. It is possible to measure eye movement to study brain function, therefore we do video analysis and use eye-tracking equipment to measure your eyes.
Head motion – the inner ear contains the vestibular apparatus, which is a motion sensor for head movement. There are essentially five motion sensors in each ear, each measuring different types of rotational and linear acceleration. To test these sensors, we can move the head and observe “dizziness” symptoms and reflexive eye motion.
Balance – balance testing is done via a force-plate which measures the amount of “sway” whilst standing. Sway is measured in centimeteres and is plotted on a graph to show directions of movement. Balance tests are a useful measurement of the overall function of the brain.
Only after a comprehensive assessment can an accurate diagnosis be made. After the diagnosis, vestibular rehabilitation can begin, which may include treatments such as:
- canal repositioning maneuvers,
- gaze-stability exercises,
- habituation exercises, and
- balance re-training.
For some conditions, such as BPPV, the treatment can be swift and may only require 1-2 sessions, however, it may be that you will be given a combination of the above treatments, spread over several weeks. The frequency of treatment and duration of rehabilitation will depend on your condition. If you are unsure about whether or not you need vestibular rehabilitation then we recommend a quick phone chat for 5-10 minutes so that we can better understand your needs, and advise you on the best type of action.