- Posted by Ross De Valle
- On March 15, 2021
Dizziness and the Vestibular System
Feeling dizzy is a horrible sensation. Unfortunately, it is relatively common with up to 15% of the population experiencing dizziness at some stage of their life. There are many reasons why dizziness occurs, and the ‘vestibular system’ is one of the major causes.
The ‘vestibular system’ includes part of the inner ear and brain. It provides us with visual stability, postural awareness, and senses movement. These are all vital components of maintaining good balance.
When the ‘vestibular system’ fails to operate properly the functional loss can be very debilitating. Often patients will have difficulty walking, running, driving a car and working. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) has been reported as the most common cause of dizziness and is thought to account for up to 42% of all vestibular disorders (Bhattacharyya et al CPG 2017). BPPV is generally triggered with a change in head position (especially rolling over) and causes recurrent bouts of vertigo which generally are of short duration (usually lasting less than 60 seconds). True vertigo is defined as a ‘sense of movement’ which occurs in the absence of actual body movement. When diagnosed and treated correctly BPPV can be successfully resolved in 90% of cases (Woodworth et al 2004).
Physiotherapy can be very effective in the treatment of ‘vestibular disorders. Carefully executed repositioning manoeuvres to affect the inner ear and targeted rehabilitation programs are both used to manage this condition.
Ross de Valle has a special interest in the treatment of Vestibular Disorders. Click here to book an appointment to see Ross.
Bhattacharyya N et al. Clinical Practice Guidelines: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (Update) Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery. 2017; 156 (3_suppl): S1-S47.
Woodworth et al. The Canalith Repositioning Procedure for Benign Positional Vertigo: A Meta-Analysis. The Laryngscope/Volume 114, Issue 7/p1143-1146, 2004.