Vestibular Disorder Basics
Dizziness and imbalance can have both vestibular and non-vestibular causes. The inner ear vestibular organs signal to your brain whether you are moving and how your head is oriented relative to gravity. Your brain then integrates these signals with those received from your eyes, muscles, and joints. When any part of the vestibular system malfunctions, this process of integration breaks down, and dizziness and other symptoms may result. (See our chart for a detailed illustration of how the balance system works.) Medical evaluation from a qualified vestibular specialist is essential for determining whether your dizziness is caused by a vestibular problem, some other cause, or a combination of factors.
Diagnosis and treatment are not always straightforward for vestibular disorders. Vestibular disorders can affect a person in many ways and are often unpredictable, occurring on a constant or intermittent basis. If you’ve reviewed our list of symptoms and suspect you may have a vestibular disorder, or have already been diagnosed but want a second opinion, you can use VeDA’s provider directory to find a health professional that can provide appropriate diagnostic testing. See our list of specialties for more information.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is a type of physical therapy that helps train the central nervous system to compensate for vestibular dysfunction. Our publication, Vestibular Rehabilitation—An Effective, Evidence-based Treatment, discusses VRT in more detail. Studies examining the effect of VRT strongly demonstrate its effectiveness in decreasing symptoms of dizziness and imbalance.
Please see our article on home-based exercises. VeDA does not recommend doing vestibular exercises at home without a medical diagnosis and a personal treatment plan from a qualified physical or occupational therapist. All vestibular disorders are not the same, and a treatment that will help one person can harm another.
Medication is a short-term strategy because it dampens symptoms, making it more difficult for the brain to learn to compensate for vestibular dysfunction. However, for people in an acute stage of dizziness, medication is sometimes used. The kind of medication you are prescribed depends on your medical history and diagnosis. See our page on medications used to treat vestibular disorders for more information.
No nutritional supplement or other remedy has been clinically shown to improve symptoms of vestibular dysfunction. Before adding such substances to your diet, it is vital to check with your doctor about potentially harmful effects, especially if you are taking prescription drugs. It’s also important to use extra caution because supplements are not subject to the same stringent standards as drugs.
Visit our ‘Coping & Support’ page for information on face-to-face support groups for vestibular disorders. Unfortunately, there are many locations where no such support groups exist. We encourage everyone to join us on our Facebook page, where people with vestibular disorders from all over the world gather to share information and support.
Problematic travel conditions include those that involve exposure to rapid altitude or pressure changes, certain motion patterns, or disturbing lighting. Precautions depend on your specific vestibular disorder, transportation method, and conditions and planned activities at your destination. More information about these factors, as well as strategies and practical tips for managing them, are available in our free short publication, Travel and Vestibular Disorders. This article especially emphasizes the challenges of air travel and includes a table with flying recommendations for the most common vestibular disorders.
Community of Support
One of the most enriching benefits of donating is becoming part of an online community of people who understand what it’s like to have a vestibular disorder. You also receive a complementary subscription to VeDA’s quarterly newsletter, On the Level, with information about vestibular research, rehabilitation, and more! Best of all, you’ll be helping VeDA promote awareness for the challenges of dealing with a vestibular problem.
VeDA offers professional membership for vestibular healthcare professionals, which includes a listing on our popular provider directory, access to co-brandable, digital copies of our publications, and the opportunity to list workshops and classes in our online calendar of events.
More information about becoming a professional member of VeDA, including membership fees, is on our Professional Membership page.
To access the patient forum, visit https://vestibular.org/forum/. You do not need an account to read forum posts, however you do need an account to post. Click 'register' in the forum menu to create an account.
Veda professional membership
To be listed in the provider directory, you must be a VeDA professional member with current dues. Professional members may submit information online (see instructions below) or print out and return the provider directory form. If you are not yet a professional member you can subscribe online.
If you already have a professional membership and are NOT currently listed in our provider directory:
- Login to the VeDA website. If you are a current member and do not have a user account, contact customer service.
- Go to “My Account”
- Select the “Provider Listing” tab
- Select “Create a Provider Listing”
- Enter your “Provider Listing Title” as you would like it to appear in our directory (e.g. “My Name, PhD”).
- Enter other information as appropriate. You may want to upload an image of yourself, enter your professional certifications, etc.
- Select from a drop-down menu of provider specialties. To select more than one specialty select one and press “Ctrl”, then select another.
- You may want to add a description of your practice (this can be anything you want to say about yourself).
- Enter the locations of the clinic(s) where you practice.
- You can enter up to three (3) clinic locations.
- Select “Save”
- Note: Your listing will not be published until it is reviewed and approved. A VeDA customer service representative will review your listing within 3 days.
If you already have a professional membership and ARE currently listed in our provider directory, follow steps 1-4 above, then contact a customer service representative – make sure to let us know what “user name” you entered when creating your website account. We will give you permissions that will allow you to edit your listing, then you can continue with the above instructions (steps 5-15) to edit your listing.
We maintain a frequently updated calendar which lists conference and training events specifically focused on helping professionals develop expertise in diagnosing and treating vestibular disorders. As a professional member of VeDA, you will receive the monthly eblast V-News Pro which contains a list of upcoming development opportunities.
To submit an event, use our conference and training submission form. You will be required to sign in with a website account in order to access the form. We confine our listings to conferences of interest to vestibular health care professionals.
Use the registration form to sign up. You do not need a website login to access most of the content on our site. A website login is required to access member-only content, to participate on the forum, or to make certain content submissions.
Yes. To request that we mail a printed membership brochure and a list of publication titles to a specific address, contact us by e-mail, mail, toll-free voice mail. Please be sure to provide the recipient’s complete name, address, zip code, and country (if outside the US), as well as a phone number and e-mail to help us reach you if we have mailing difficulties.
Our growing list of free short publications may be freely distributed in print. Anyone is welcome to directly link to our webpages or free short publications, but we do not give permission to reproduce them online with the exception of short quotes (see our permissions guide). Thank you for respecting our copyright.
Yes, VeDA has the highest level of security, called SSL or Secure Socket Layer, which are cryptographic protocols designed to provide communications security over a computer network. You can see this in our URL, which has an “s” at the end of the “http” (i.e. https://). VeDA uses a credit card processor which uses a secure payment gateway.
VeDA accepts credit cards and checks. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. To pay by check, please mail your check (made out to VeDA) to 5018 NE 15th Ave Portland, OR 97211. VeDA accepts payment by check in US dollars (USD) and through verified credit card payments with international credit cards.
For billing questions, please contact VeDA by e-mail or by phone at (800) 837-8428.
Professional membership dues are non-refundable. If you made an additional dues payment in error, your additional payment will be applied to the end of your current membership, or it can be transferred to a colleague.
Donations are also typically non-refundable, unless there was an error such as entering $500.00 instead of $50.00. Contact us if you made a donation in error.
All book sales are final and non-refundable. We refund shipping charges if:
- We ship an incorrect product, or
- If we ship a broken or defective product.
If we re-ship a product in these cases, we do not add another shipping charge.
To further our mission, VeDA accepts advertising and sponsorship under strict guidelines. We will refuse any advertisement that we believe is incompatible with our mission. The presence of an ad on our site or in one of our newsletters does not imply endorsement of the advertised company or product. Advertisers and sponsors must not make unsubstantiated health claims or suggest VeDA has endorsed a product.
VeDA maintains a distinct separation between advertising content and editorial content. All advertising content on VeDA’s website or in one of our newsletters is clearly labeled as an advertisement. Sponsored areas of the site are labeled as such, and the sponsoring organizations are identified.
For more detailed information about advertising and sponsorship visit our sponsorship page.