Vertigo & Vestibular

@ Lighthouse Physical Therapy Spokane Liberty Lake

What are the symptoms of Vertigo?

The symptoms of vertigo can range from slight dizziness/unsteadiness to complete debilitation. Below is a list of common signs and symptoms of vertigo or BPPV (benign Positional Proxymal Vertigo):

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Visual disturbances (Nystagmus)
  • Tinnitus/ringing in ears
  • Sweating
  • Balance issues

Typically symptoms worsen when:

  • Lying in bed
  • Looking up
  • Looking to the side when driving
  • Bending forward
  • Risk factors for Vertigo/BPPV?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can occur at any age, however, it is most common in men over the age of 50. BPPV has many causes, however, a head injury or any other disorder of the balance organs of your ear may make you more susceptible to BPPV.

What is the vestibular system and how does it relate to BPPV?

First, the inner ear contains an important organ for maintaining balance. The vestibular system is one of three systems (somatosensation and visual) that comprise your ability to stand up and maintain normal balance. When a blow to the head or sustained reclined positions disturb the vestibular system, BPPV can arise.

To further understand BPPV we will discuss the vestibular system more directly. The vestibular system is comprised of 3 fluid-filled ducts that are designed to detect movements of the head and body in space. When crystals (called otoconia) are dislodged from the center of the vestibular system (vestibule) and enter the ducts, BPPV arises. To correct this, our practitioners perform various maneuvers to reposition the otoconia for long-lasting results!

The results of our treatments for BPPV/Vertigo are instant and only require following a few simple steps. First, following treatment, it is important to drink plenty of water. Second, do NOT lie with the head below a 30-degree angle for the next 72 hours. Typically Vertigo treatment only requires 1 session, however, follow-ups may be necessary if multiple canals are involved.

We have a vast knowledge of the vestibular system and can correctly identify if you have BPPV or other conditions that may require referral to another medical provider. Make an appointment and discover the difference we make at Lighthouse!

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