The inner ear and brain work together to process information related to balance and eye movement. This is called the vestibular system. Damage or disease can interfere with the normal function of the vestibular system. 

Inner ear and balance disorders cause a host of issues such as dizziness and spinning sensations. Treating any underlying disease that may be contributing to the inner ear disorder alleviates symptoms. In addition, treatments such as vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) can be effective in improving symptoms and quality of life.

At Southern ENT, our team of medical professionals has extensive expertise treating vertigo with vestibular rehabilitation. Here’s some information we pulled together to help you understand the condition and how VRT can help.

Overview of the balance system

Getting out of bed, walking through grass, and walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night are activities most people take for granted. But if you have a vestibular disorder, simply standing from a sitting position or walking across a gravel driveway can be difficult.

Balance is key to daily life. Good balance enables you to maintain your body’s center and keep your posture stable as you move. A complex sensory-motor system that includes vision and touch work in tandem with the vestibular system. For this to happen smoothly, your eyes, muscles, and vestibular system send information to your brain in the form of nerve impulses.

Your inner ear provides key sensory information about head position, motion, spatial orientation, and equilibrium. Any breakdown in the coordination of these systems can cause problems with balance.  

Living with vestibular disorders

Problems with the vestibular system can have a profound effect on how you feel and function in day-to-day life. If you have an inner ear disorder, you may experience:

  • Vision disturbance
  • Changes in hearing
  • Imbalance
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Spinning sensation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rocking sensation

What’s more, inner ear problems can make it difficult to concentrate, affecting your work productivity, and can cause you to feel confused and disoriented. The impact of living with a vestibular disorder can cause anxiety and depression.

Vestibular rehabilitation

Symptoms related to inner ear problems can interfere with nearly all aspects of daily life. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is a specialized form of therapy designed to reduce symptoms such as vertigo, imbalance problems, and dizziness by strengthening other senses to compensate. 

This exercise-based program is administered by a specially trained vestibular physical therapist. The main goals of VRT are to:

  • Improve balance
  • Reduce falls
  • Improve stability
  • Improve neuromuscular coordination

To accomplish these goals, we work with you using special physical therapy exercises that:

  • Desensitize the vestibular system
  • Improve adaptation
  • Substitute alternative senses

We consider various factors when designing a vestibular rehabilitation program, including your motor skills. When you visit us at Southern ENT Associates, vestibular rehabilitation begins with a comprehensive clinical assessment. The therapy is individualized to address your specific symptoms and unique situation.

If you’re struggling with inner ear problems, we can help. Call us to schedule a consultation at one of our seven Louisiana clinics. We have offices in Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland, Morgan City, New Iberia, Opelousas, and Youngsville. We’re standing by to help you get relief from inner ear disorder symptoms and restore your quality of life.

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