Balance and Vestibular Program
The Balance and Vestibular Program at the Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio treats patients experiencing balance and/or equilibrium challenges when walking, standing or sitting still.
Balance results from a combination of the inner ears (vestibular system) working in conjunction with the eyes (vision) and the pressure sensors in the feet, ankles, muscles and joints (somatosensory systems). Impairment to any of those systems can cause imbalance. Reduced vision and neuropathy in hands can negatively affect balance. So can medications, gait or blood pressure. The symptoms of dizziness vary from person to person and may or may not be accompanied by hearing loss.
Your rehabilitation program is coordinated by skilled, qualified physical therapists who are specially trained to identify vestibular, strength and cognitive gait issues. Your care includes an evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms, both musculoskeletal and neurological, and a personalized combination of treatments to help you regain your balance.
Diagnosing Balance Disorders
A number of tests are available to evaluate your dizziness symptoms and determine their cause. These include:
- Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP) - This test assesses whether a specific part of the inner ear nerve (the saccule) and its central connections are intact and working normally.
- Videonystagmography (VNG) – This test traces eye movements during visual stimulation and position changes to determine whether dizziness is due to inner ear disease.
- Electronystagmography (ENG) - This test evaluates the inner ear balance function to identify if symptoms are caused by unequal neural messages to the vestibular system.
- Platform Posturograpy - This test evaluates postural stability. It is a common evaluation for patients experiencing falls or gait instability.
The symptoms associated with balance and vestibular disorders vary from person to person, and may or may not be accompanied by hearing loss. The Balance and Vestibular Program team provides care for people with symptoms including:
- Dizziness or whirling sensation (vertigo)
- Disorientation or confusion in relation to your surroundings
- Feeling of imbalance
- Sensation of unsteadiness
- History of falls
- Motion intolerance
- Floating sensation
- Inability to walk without assistance (cane or wheeled walker)
- Blurred vision
Exercise-based, our Balance and Vestibular Program’s rehabilitation treatments improve stability for better freedom of movement and to promote safe walking both inside and outside of your home. Your customized treatment program may include the following services:
- Home exercises
- Vestibular rehabilitation
- Balance retraining
- Education for you and your family
- Audiology evaluation
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