Vertigo and dizziness are important problems and if you don't treat them quickly they can lead to a variety of other issues like increased risk of falls(1), and in the longer term even anxiety and depression in some people(2,3,4). If you're like most people you'll want to know a little bit more about the problems that underlying vertigo and dizziness, So let's start with some background information.
Achieving a sense of balance.
Vertigo and dizziness is all about your body's sense of balance. Balance isn’t about standing still, it’s about three particular body systems working in conjunction with each other, to send the correct signals to the brain, to bring a sense of steadiness and harmony.
The inner ear (vestibular system), the sensation from your body’s feel (proprioceptive system), and your sight (visual system) are the three areas we’re talking about, all of which need to work in harmony together to send information to the brain stem, the cerebellum within the brain, and the cerebral cortex. Once everything is working in harmony, a sense of balance is achieved; however if something is a little off, dizziness and vertigo can result.
Dizziness and vertigo is generally down to two different types – peripheral or central.
A peripheral problem comes from misinterpretation of information coming in, and a central problem comes from misinterpretation of information once it has been received by the brain. It is also quite possible to suffer from both types at the same time, just to make matters worse.
There are many different conditions which can cause dizziness and vertigo such as Meniere's disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, and vestibular neuritis just to name a few.
How can you treat dizziness and vertigo?
The exact treatment varies according to the problem that you have. As a result it's essential to determine exactly what is the cause of your vertigo. Here at the Eastern Brain Centre we work closely with you to take a full thorough history to ensure we miss no vital detail in identifying the particular cause in your case. Once this has been done we will normally be in a position to be able to identify the most effective treatment for you. Clearly we cannot help everyone and if your case is unlikely to be assisted by our treatment or if you have a more serious cause we will discuss this with you along with your further options.
If you are suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) we will perform an treatment called the Epley manoeuvre, which is very successful for most people.(5,6) One therapy known as vestibular rehabilitation therapy, which we use in the Centre, has good scientific evidence to support it’s use for many kinds of vertigo.(7) As part of our assessment we’ll look to see if this treatment is appropriate for you.
To see if we can help you, please call 03 8652 1628 or book online.
(1) Grivna, M., H.O. Eid, and F.M. Abu-Zidan, Epidemiology, morbidity and mortality from fall-related injuries in the United Arab Emirates. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med, 2014. 22: p. 51.
(2) Bart, O., et al., Balance treatment ameliorates anxiety and increases self-esteem in children with comorbid anxiety and balance disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 30(3): p. 486-495.
(3)Furman, J.M., M.S. Redfern, and R.G. Jacob, Vestibulo-ocular function in anxiety disorders. J Vestib Res, 2006. 16(4-5): p. 209-15.
(4)Balaban, C.D. and J.F. Thayer, Neurological bases for balance-anxiety links. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 2001. 15(1-2): p. 53-79.
(5) Hilton, M.P. and D.K. Pinder, The Epley (canalith repositioning) manoeuvre for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2014(12): p. CD003162.
(6)Helminski, J.O., et al., Effectiveness of Particle Repositioning Maneuvers in the Treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: A Systematic Review. Physical Therapy, 2010. 90(5): p. 663-678.
(7) McDonnell, M.N. and S.L. Hillier, Vestibular rehabilitation for unilateral peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2015. 1: p. CD005397.