More than 10 million people see a doctor due to issues with dizziness each year. This is a very serious concern, as this type of vestibular disorder can make a person 12 times more likely to suffer from a fall, and falls account for up to half of accidental deaths in elderly individuals. These people can sometimes benefit from some type of vestibular treatment, such as seeing a specialist for vestibular physical therapy. Physical therapy may help limit symptoms of dizziness, improve body strength and balance, and limit the risk of falling. Taking certain steps may make it more likely that this type of therapy will be successful.
Consider the Cause
People suffering from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, post-traumatic vertigo, multifactorial disequilibrium, and certain types of unilateral or bilateral vestibular loss can be good candidates for vestibular physical therapy. However, those who are dizzy for reasons other than a vestibular condition, such as people with migraines, transient ischemic attacks, or low blood pressure and those who have vestibular problems due to Meniere's disease or perilymphatic fistula, aren't as likely to benefit from this type of therapy.
Get an Individualized Plan
Because the causes and symptoms of a vestibular issue can vary greatly from person to person, people are likely to get the best results if they've been evaluated by a specialist and given an individualized plan for exercises that can be done in a physical therapist's office and those that can be performed at home. Different exercises help with different symptoms, so it's important that the physical therapist knows exactly which motions tend to cause symptoms to occur. Following a generic plan off the Internet isn't as likely to bring about the same results as a more personalized plan, and these generic plans won't take into account any medical conditions that a patient has.
The exercises commonly prescribed for patients to do at home aren't at all difficult, but they also aren't that exciting. Even if a patient is bored, they need to be committed and perform the recommended vestibular treatment exercises. In some cases, the exercises may seem to make symptoms worse in the beginning, but it's important to stick with the exercises over time. They will help the body learn to compensate for the vestibular problem. Should decompensation later occur and the symptoms start to come back, it's often possible to go back and do the prescribed exercises to once again get an improvement in symptoms.
Follow Other Recommended Treatment Steps
Physical therapy will be more likely to be effective in combination with other recommended treatments and lifestyle changes. This means taking any prescribed medications, being more active, treating any other conditions present, and dealing with any emotional issues that may be interfering with a person's ability to perform the recommended vestibular physical therapy exercises.
Talk to a professional, such as one at Alpine Ear, Nose & Throat, PC, for more information.
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