Treatments

Managing Your Care

The form of treatment prescribed for your vestibular disorder may depend upon your symptoms, medical history and general health, a physical examination by a qualified doctor, and diagnostic test results. In addition to being treated for any underlying disease that may be contributing to the balance disorder, treatments can include:

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)

Vestibular rehabilitation is a specialized form of exercise-based therapy designed to alleviate both primary and secondary symptoms of vestibular disorders. VRT uses specific head, body, and eye exercises designed to retrain the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system and coordinate them with information from vision and proprioception. The choice and form of VRT exercises will differ from person to person.

Canalith Repositioning Procedure (for BPPV)

These are specialized maneuvers performed to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). One type of CRM is called the "Epley maneuver." It involves a series of specifically patterned head and trunk movements to move tiny displaced otoliths (often referred to as "crystals") to a place in the inner ear where they can’t cause symptoms.

Home-Based Exercise

Home exercises are often a vital part of balance retraining. Appropriate exercises will be assigned by a physical or occupational therapist to be performed at a prescribed pace, along with a progressive fitness program to increase energy and reduce stress.

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).  Pharmacological treatments may be used to control symptoms, accelerate central compensation, and diminish psychological comorbidity.

Surgical Procedures for Vestibular Dysfunction

When medical treatment isn't effective in controlling vertigo and other symptoms caused by vestibular system dysfunction, surgery may be considered. The type of surgery performed depends upon each individual's diagnosis and physical condition. Surgical procedures for peripheral vestibular disorders are either corrective or destructive. The goal of corrective surgery is to repair or stabilize inner ear function. The goal of destructive surgery is to stop the production of sensory information or prevent its transmission from the inner ear to the brain.

Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine

Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used alongside traditional, medical treatments. Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are used instead of standard medical treatments. Integrative medicine is a total approach to medical care that combines standard medicine with complementary and alternative practices with the goal of supporting the patient's overall wellness. Often, these approaches are used to treat the secondary symptoms experienced by many vestibular patients, such as nausea and anxiety. When these symptoms are mitigated, traditional approaches may be more effective.

Yoga For Balance

Yoga can help vestibular patients regain balance, focus, movement and coordination. There are many different types of yoga that can all have different impacts on the health and wellbeing of patients experiencing vestibular dysfunction. This article provides information about the different types of yoga and tips for using yoga as a treatment for a vestibular disorder.