Are You Living with Vestibular Neuritis?
The second most commonly reported complaint within doctors offices is dizziness and loss of balance. In fact, 76 million Americans will experience some sort of dizzy spell or vertigo at some point in their lives. These are both extremely common conditions that affect one’s equilibrium, making them feel as if they are off balance. Symptoms can vary from acute to chronic and in some severe cases, they can even be indicators of serious health risks.
Feelings of dizziness or vertigo can greatly limit one’s daily life, making it difficult for them to perform even the simplest tasks without feeling as if they might fall over. Vestibular neuritis, also known as “labyrinthitis,” is a vestibular disorder that can affect one’s balance, resulting in dizziness and vertigo. While this sounds much scarier than it is, it is essentially an inner ear infection, which is typically viral. It causes the inner ear and surrounding nerves to become inflamed, resulting in difficulties with balance due to discrepancies regarding gravitational brain messages. This is how vertigo begins.
Fortunately, at GoodLife Physical Therapy, we offer some of the most effective vestibular rehab services, aimed at retraining your vestibular system to regulate feelings of stability and balance. Contact us today to learn more.
How can I tell if I have vestibular neuritis?
Vestibular neuritis is the second most common cause of vertigo. The onset of this condition is typically preceded by an upper respiratory or GI viral infection, or from the herpes virus. The symptoms of vestibular neuritis can happen suddenly, and can be quite severe and constant, especially in the early stages.
Persistent dizziness is the most common symptom of vestibular neuritis, but other symptoms may include:
- Nystagmus – this is the phenomenon of experiencing uncontrollable eye movements, commonly referred to as “eye jerks.”
- Decreased vestibular function on one side of the body.
- Balance and gait deviations.
- Sensorineural hearing loss.
While some vestibular disorders may result in tinnitus (ringing of the ears), this is not very common with vestibular neuritis.
How will vestibular therapy help?
Vestibular therapy, also referred to as vestibular rehabilitation, is conducted through a process of “adaptation and compensation.” This means that the vestibular system is actually being “reprogrammed” through both passive and active therapies to form connections with the brain on adjusting imbalances and regaining stability.
Vestibular therapy has been a proven method of treatment for several vestibular disorders. According to a review published in the National Institutes of Health, titled, “Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy: Review of Indications, Mechanisms, and Key Exercises,” this point is proven further.
This review states,
“Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is an exercise-based treatment program designed to promote vestibular adaptation and substitution. The goals of VRT are 1) to enhance gaze stability, 2) to enhance postural stability, 3) to improve vertigo, and 4) to improve activities of daily living.”
Vestibular therapy includes targeted exercises and movements that complement the vestibular systems in ways that promote regained function and mobility. The review also states,
“As long as exercises are performed several times every day, even brief periods of exercise are sufficient to facilitate vestibular recovery.”
Contact us today
Do you think you may be living with vestibular neuritis? If so, contact GoodLife Physical Therapy today. We’ll provide you with the best vestibular therapy plan for your needs, so you can get back to living your life comfortably in no time.