Vestibular Disorder Basics

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For some of the people who are anxious about a first attack -

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with balance.

Vestibular disorders can be caused by disease, injury, poisoning by drugs or chemicals, autoimmune causes, traumatic brain injury, or aging. Many vestibular disorders occur from unexplained causes.

Symptoms of vestibular disorders include dizziness, vertigo (a spinning sensation), imbalance, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fatigue, jumping vision, nausea/vomiting, hearing loss, anxiety, and cognitive difficulties.

Vestibular disorders are difficult to diagnose. It is common for a patient to consult 4 or more physicians over a period several years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

There is no “cure” for most vestibular disorders. They may be treated with medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes (e.g. diet, exercise), surgery, or positional maneuvers. In most cases, patients must adapt to a host of life-altering limitations.

Vestibular disorders impact patients and their families physically, mentally, and emotionally. In addition to physical symptoms such as dizziness and vertigo, vestibular patients can experience poor concentration, memory, and mental fatigue. Many vestibular patients suffer from anxiety and depression due to fear of falling and the loss of their independence.

Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and vestibular migraine. 

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Very good arria. Vestibular disorders create such debilitating conditions. There really should be more high profile attention given to this illness. 


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  • Posted

    Hi Peter, there seem to be hundreds of illnesses and organisations all with their own color of ribbon and awareness. I have not seen one for vestibular problems.  We need more respect :-)  We should have a spiral ribbon.
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    • Posted

      the VEDA website that Arria is quoting  above is actually a great organisation for vestibular  problems ,,so go there there and check it out.Lots of,advice and you will learn a lot. I have been advocating them For 2 years now as they seem to be the only site, (They also have a Facebook page) who,have a comprehensive approach to our problems. 
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  • Posted

    yEs I recognise this from VEDA website, they are wonderful.
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  • Posted

    I had no clue that people suffered like this until it happened to me. Since then I have been trying to spread the word as much as I can. Because vestibular disorders are so hard to diagnose and treat, I think it's easy for others to ignore or belittle what we're going through. This forum and Veda both have brought me sanity in an otherwise chaotic miserable mess. 
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