Vestibular Dysfunction or Vestibular System Disorders are more common than most people think.
1) A recent study has indicated that as many as 35% of Americans over 40 years old (70 million people) have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction (Agrawal et al, 2009).
2) 80% of people over 65 years have experienced dizziness and BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) is the cause of approximately 50% of dizziness in older persons (Parnes et al, 2003).
Vestibular Dysfunction or Vestibular System Disorders may involve a number of symptoms including:
b) Vertigo (sensation of spinning)
d) Sense of imbalance or unsteadiness
e) Poor gaze stability
f) Vision disturbance
What is the vestibular system?
- Comprises five sensory organs that provide your brain with information about head position and movements including head rotation, linear movements and static positions of the head relative to gravity
- Five sensory organs including 3 semicircular canals and 2 otoliths
Vestibular rehabilitation involves:
- A detailed assessment of the Oculomotor System, Vestibulo-ocular System, Motion Sensitivity Testing, and a BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) assessment
Your Vestibular Physiotherapist will then determine:
- The cause of your symptoms
- Appropriate treatment including in-clinic physiotherapy and home exercise program as indicated
- Whether referral to another health professional is indicated
Please ask your Physiotherapist for more information regarding Vestibular Rehabilitation.
Visit the following links for more information:
Vestibular Disorders Association:
Vestibular Rehabilitation for Unilateral Peripheral Vestibular Dysfunction – Cochrane Review:
Hillier, S.L., & McDonnell, M. (2007). Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD005397.pub2.
Agrawal, Y., Carey, J.P., Della, Santina, C.C., Schubert, M.C., & Minor, L.B. (2009). Disorders of balance and vestibular function in US adults. Arch Intern Med, 169(10), 938-944.
Parnes, L.S., Agrawal, S.K., Atlas, J. (2003). Diagnosis and management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). CMAJ, 169, 681–693.