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Medication

The use of medication in treating vestibular disorders depends on whether the vestibular system dysfunction is in an initial or acute phase (lasting up to 5 days) or chronic phase (ongoing).

During the acute phase, and when other illnesses have been ruled out, medications that may be prescribed include vestibular suppressants to reduce motion sickness or anti-emetics to reduce nausea. Vestibular suppressants include three general drug classes: anticholinergics, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines. Examples of vestibular suppressants are meclizine and dimenhydinate (antihistamine-anticholinergics) and lorazepam and diazepam (benzodiazepines).

Other medications that may be prescribed are steroids (e.g., prednisone), antiviral drugs (e.g., acyclovir), or antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin) if a middle ear infection is present. If nausea has been severe enough to cause excessive dehydration, intravenous fluids may be given.

During the chronic phase, symptoms must be actively experienced without interference in order for the brain to adjust, a process called vestibular compensation. Any medication that makes the brain sleepy, including all vestibular suppressants, can slow down or stop the process of compensation. Therefore, they are often not appropriate for long-term use. Physicians generally find that most patients who fail to compensate are either strictly avoiding certain movements, using vestibular suppressants daily, or both.

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Current Research

VeDA partners with the Journal of Vestibular Research and Barany Society to keep you up-to-date on the latest research in vestibular medicine.

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How to Deal with an Acute Vertigo Episode

Vertigo can be extremely hard to deal with. The sudden onset of world-turning dizziness and the accompanying nausea, imbalance and loss of function can feel paralyzing and cause great concern. You’re not alone. In fact,

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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo, which is a false sensation of spinning.

– Benign – it is not life-threatening
– Paroxysmal – it comes in sudden, brief spells
– Positional – it gets triggered by certain head positions or movements
– Vertigo – a false sense of rotational movement

BPPV is a mechanical problem in the inner ear. It occurs when some of the calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) that are normally embedded in gel in the utricle become dislodged and migrate into one or more of the 3 fluid-filled semicircular canals, where they are not supposed to be. When enough of these particles accumulate in one of the canals they interfere with the normal fluid movement that these canals use to sense head motion, causing the inner ear to send false signals to the brain.

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Central Vestibular Disorders

Dizziness can be caused by a dysfunction in the peripheral vestibular system (the labyrinth of the inner ear, and the pathways/nerves connecting to the brainstem) or the central vestibular system (the brain and brainstem). This article provides an overview of how to differentiate peripheral from central vestibular disorders.

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Chiropractic for the treatment of vestibular disorders

There are a lot of people who may think a chiropractor will automatically “snap the neck” of every patient they see, including patients suffering from dizziness. Spinal manipulation, whether performed by a chiropractor, medical doctor,

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Home-based Exercise

Supplement for People with Chronic Dizziness Can balance retraining exercises help with dizziness? ‘Balance retraining’ is a therapy which can speed recovery from any change in balance system function - including changes caused by chronic

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Types of Vestibular Disorders

“Vestibular disorder” is an umbrella term used to encompass many different conditions that affect the inner ear and those parts of the central nervous system involved in maintaining balance.

Vestibular disorders can result from or be worsened by injuries, genetic or environmental conditions, or occur for unknown reasons. There are more than twenty-five known vestibular disorders. Each is unique, but many share common diagnostic traits, which can make it difficult for healthcare professionals to easily differentiate them.

The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, and secondary endolymphatic hydrops. Vestibular disorders also include superior semicircular canal dehiscence, acoustic neuroma, perilymph fistula, ototoxicity, enlarged vestibular aqueduct, migraine-associated vertigo, and Mal de Sébarquement. Other problems related to vestibular dysfunction include complications from aging, autoimmune disorders, and allergies.

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Trouble Getting a Diagnosis?

Why is it so difficult to find a diagnosis for vestibular disorders? Many people who suffer from dizziness, imbalance, or vertigo have trouble finding out why. Dizziness and vertigo are not actually “diagnoses,” they are

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