An estimated 90 million Americans experience dizziness at least once in their life. Symptoms of dizziness can include: vertigo, unsteadiness, head spinning, loss of balance, visual disturbance, lightheadedness, fatigue, wooziness, nausea, and feeling faint. Some people develop permanent balance deficits and functional limitations.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that those with symptomatic vestibular dysfunction have a 12 fold increase in odds of falling.
Vertigo can be caused by peripheral (inner ear) and central (brain) vestibular deficits. Three fourths of vestibular disorders are peripheral in nature either from the inner ear and/or the vestibular nerve. The most common peripheral disorder is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
Research studies have shown that customized vestibular rehabilitation programs were more effective in resolving symptoms.
By improving vestibular function and promoting central adaption, therapy aims to improve the following:
- Improve balance
- Decrease falls
- Decrease sensation of dizziness
- Improve stability with body movements
- Improve neuromuscular coordination
- Decrease anxiety and stress due to vestibular disorientation