Archive for October, 2009

One Patient’s First Trip to PT for Vestibular Weakness

Here’s a great example of one woman’s first trip to see a PT for vestibular weakness (BPPV). It’s a forum, so you can even respond to her post about your own experiences! All you need to do is sign up – it’s FREE!!thdchild=.89afaa60

Good Luck!

Although our blog is usually about vestibular disorders, we want to give a special shout out to our               img1                      Chicago 2009 Marathoners. We have a number of  runners we work with through the Imerman Angels, the Chicago Tri Club and the National Runaway Marathon Teams who will be running the 2009 Chicago Marathon this Sunday, October 11th.

GOOD LUCK !!!!!!!!!!!


Your inner ear can be damaged by many things, including head trauma, viruses, and even by a toxin. Ototoxicity occurs when the vestibular system is damaged by a toxin. These toxins are usually medically based, such as antibiotics, most notably gentamicin, some chemotherapy drugs, and environmental chemicals. This damage can be potentially be permanent an irreversible, but does not have to be.

Symptoms: Tinnitus, loss of balance, vision disruption, vertigo. Severity will vary.

Treatment: No cure. Physical therapy can reduce the symptoms and re-train the brain to the changes in the inner ear.

Treatment of Tinnitus

ears ringingFrom the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders  

Although there is no cure for tinnitus, scientists and doctors have discovered several treatments that may give you some relief. Not every treatment works for everyone, so you may need to try several to find the ones that help.

Treatments can include:     

  • Hearing aids. Many people with tinnitus also have a hearing loss. Wearing a hearing aid makes it easier for some people to hear the sounds they need to hear by making them louder. The better you hear other people talking or the music you like, the less you notice your tinnitus.
  • Maskers. Maskers are small electronic devices that use sound to make tinnitus less noticeable. Maskers do not make tinnitus go away, but they make the ringing or roaring seem softer. For some people, maskers hide their tinnitus so well that they can barely hear it.Some people sleep better when they use maskers. Listening to static at a low volume on the radio or using bedside maskers can help. These are devices you can put by your bed instead of behind your ear. They can help you ignore your tinnitus and fall asleep.
  • Medicine or drug therapy. Some medicines may ease tinnitus. If your doctor prescribes medicine to treat your tinnitus, he or she can tell you whether the medicine has any side effects.
  • Tinnitus retraining therapy. This treatment uses a combination of counseling and maskers. Otolaryngologists and audiologists help you learn how to deal with your tinnitus better. You may also use maskers to make your tinnitus less noticeable. After a while, some people learn how to avoid thinking about their tinnitus. It takes time for this treatment to work, but it can be very helpful.
  • Counseling. People with tinnitus may become depressed. Talking with a counselor or people in tinnitus support groups may be helpful.
  • Relaxing. Learning how to relax is very helpful if the noise in your ears frustrates you. Stress makes tinnitus seem worse. By relaxing, you have a chance to rest and better deal with the sound.

3 Ways to Identify Triggers for Vertigo and Vestibular Migraines

I noticed that in previous posts I note to make sure you identify your triggers but I never explained how to do that!

1) Keep a diary. Note when each episode of vertigo or migraine starts, what you had been doing right before it, what you had eaten that day, the weather outside, etc. This will help you find your triggers once you begin seeing patterns.

2) Keep a close watch on your food intake. Food seems to be a huge trigger for a lot of people  so keep an eye on what you eat and what causes vertigo or migraine flare ups.

3) Note sleep habits. Too much or too little sleep often has an effect on vertigo and migraines.