Is It Me or Is the Room Spinning? Common Causes and Treatment for Dizziness/Vertigo

Robert went on some amusement park rides with his grandson and noticed a week later that the room spun every time he laid down on his back.
 
Lucy suffered from chronic ear infections through her adult life, has been experiencing ringing in her ears and vertigo when she turns her head too rapidly, especially to the right.
 
Sara sustained a whiplash injury in a minor car accident a month ago.  She is now feeling out of sorts, and dizzy, particularly as the day progresses or when she is tired.
 
What do Robert, Lucy and Sara have in common? They are all experiencing dizziness which can be successfully treated with vestibular rehab. This is a non-surgical, drug-free treatment option that a physiotherapist specializing in vestibular rehab can provide.
 
Robert has Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), which is just a long way of saying that some crystals in his inner ears were dislodged. This results in dizziness and vertigo when he moves his head, usually to look up/back or sometimes, to either side.  BPPV is easily treatable with repositioning manoeuvres to move the dislodged crystals to their original place.
 
Infections to the inner ear can cause injury to the structures (labyrinthitis) or nerve (neuritis) supplying the area.  This can leave people feeling dizzy and nauseous, and can also lead to ringing in their ears or possible hearing loss.  Depending on the extent of injury to the vestibular system, resulting symptoms can often be improved, managed or resolved with education and exercises specific to the injured or weakened structure.
 
Sara’s whiplash is one example of how even a mild injury to the head and neck areas can affect a person’s sense of balance.  People will often experience dizziness with stressful or overstimulating situations, or as fatigue sets in.  Education on ways to manage the symptoms, exercises to target weakened areas and gentle manual therapy to the neck can be very helpful.
 
Other Causes of Dizziness
 
There are some medical conditions that can cause dizziness that are not due to injury or malfunction of your vestibular system.  A physiotherapist specializing in vestibular rehab will perform, as part of the initial assessment, preliminary tests to see whether your dizziness may be caused by a medical condition. He/she will advise you if physiotherapy treatment of your dizziness would be beneficial or, if you should consult your physician for further investigation.
 
Consult a physiotherapist trained in vestibular rehab to see what treatment options can help you.
 
 
 

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