Balance assessments and retraining
Maintaining and improving balance
The vestibular system, which is part of the inner ear, governs the balance of our bodies.
Through our Clinical Scientist training, we are able to provide full diagnostic assessments and customised vestibular rehabilitation plans.
Following referral from ENT colleagues we can provide:
- Full Vestibular function testing (using video-nystagmography)
- Bithermal caloric testing
- BPPV assessment and repositioning treatments
- Functional balance assessments and bedside examinations
Our customised vestibular retraining care plans, may include the following elements:
- Gaze stabilisation exercises
- Relaxation Techniques
- Exercises to improve postural stability
Balance problems can be caused by a variety of issues - from a cold to more serious problems.
feelings of dizziness are usually short-lived, but some people have long-lasting dizziness and balance problems.
The most common cause is a simple viral infection, such as the common cold, spreading to your inner ear. Although your immune system gets rid of the virus quite quickly, your balance organ (the vestibular system) might have been damaged. You may feel dizzy until your brain can adjust to deal with the damage.
This sort of balance problem is usually helped by vestibular rehabilitation physiotherapy, which includes head and balance exercises.
Spinning - BPPV
Do you feel a spinning sensation as if your head is turning when it isn't, if you look up or when you lie down in bed?
BPPV is an inner ear disorder that can cause short but severe spells of vertigo (a spinning sensation), especially if you tip your head backwards. BPPV will make you feel as if your head is turning when it isn’t. The vertigo usually lasts for less than 30 seconds, but you may feel light-headed and unsteady for several minutes or hours afterwards.
BPPV is caused when small calcium crystals within the inner ear are dislodged from the part of the ear that senses gravity and move to the part that senses head position.
There is often no obvious cause for BPPV, especially in older people, but it can develop after a head injury, ear surgery, prolonged bed rest, or following an inner-ear infection or disease. It may occur alongside other inner ear conditions such as Ménière’s disease.
Ménière’s disease is a thankfully rare condition. It leads to sudden attacks of severe vertigo (spinning sensation) that can last anywhere between 20 minutes to a day.
Sufferers commonly report problems with
- vertigo (spinning sensation)
- a feeling of ear ‘fullness’ followed by nausea
- hearing loss
- tinnitus (head noise)
- sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis)
- loss of balance
The symptoms and severity of Ménière’s vary greatly from person to person. However repeated attacks can cause permanent hearing loss.
Balance problems can be distressing and affect the quality of your life. If you are suffering from balance problems, get in touch with us.