Posts Tagged ‘nausea and dizziness’

During Therapy: Why You May STILL Feel Dizzy!

There is a good chance that during vestibular rehabilitation therapy you may still feel dizzy. The vestibular system tells your brain where your head is in space (up, down, left…). When the vestibular system is weakened, in an accident or after being sick, the vestibular system has a hard time figuring out where your head is located in space, causing you to be off balance.

During vestibular rehabiliation therapy, you are doing exercises that are intentionally making you dizzy. Exercises that include moving the head left to right while focusing on a steady object is one example. By focusing on a still object while moving your head left to right, you are re-training the brain to coordinate the information between the senses and the vestibular system so that signals are sent correctly to the brain.

Your exercises will get increasingly hard as you progress through your therapy and your symptoms may flare up because your brain will not be used to the increase in difficulty (ie. new visual cues). Do not despair, this happens to some of our patients!

How do you combat this dizziness: Do your exercises at home that your physical therapist provides you with. It will really help you with your dizziness!

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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.

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/noiseinear.htm#treat

Vestibular Migraines

A vestibular migraine is a migraine that is associated with vestibular symptoms. Migraines usually precede the vestibular symptoms.

headache

Symptoms include vertigo, tinnitus and possible temporary hearing loss, auras (visual disturbances that can include flashing lights or blind spots), light sensitivity and loss of balance. 

One of the best things you can do to avoid migraines is to avoid your triggers. It may take some time to adjust your life to figure out what may cause these triggers. Some common triggers include heat, stress, and lack of sleep or food. Others have noted chocolate, alcohol, smoking, artificial sweeteners, MSG, and contraceptives as triggers.

Dr. Hain and the 3rd Vestibular Support Group

Our most recent Vestibular Support Group, held at LifeStyle’s office in Chicago, increased in attendance and we had our first guest speaker, Dr. Timothy Hain. Chicago’s “dizzy doctor”, as many patients call him, is a neurologist with Chicago Dizziness and Hearing as well as a Professor of Neurology and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University Medical School.

Dr. Hain began his discussion with an overview of the different definitions of dizziness and the reasons for dizziness. Patients go to doctors for many reasons and use the term “dizziness” and it could refer to many things, whether it’s vertigo, or a sensation of motion, ataxia, an unsteadiness, or lightheadedness/faintness.

dizzyAlmost 50% of dizziness stems from your ear, but that means that about 50% of dizziness stems from something else (including brain trauma, psychological reasons, and other medical reasons).

Dr. Hain then gave an overview of BPPV, Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis and bilateral vestibular loss. He gave great insight and even case examples about the different vestibular disorders. Dr. Hain discussed studies that are being conducted on mice (no humans yet) to regenerate damaged, non-working hair cells within ones ear – which are the cells that are the sensory receptors for the vestibular system – humans are not able to regenerate damanged cells while birds are able to.

Dr. Hain also discussed the use of Betahistine in the treatment of Meniere’s Disease – while not FDA legal in the US, the Europeans widely use the product. For an overview and Dr. Hain’s review of the drug, please go to: http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/treatment/serc.html

For more information on Chicago’s VSG, please send an email to: info@balancechicago.com.

October 29, 1916

On October 29, 1916, an article was published in the NY Times that states that from the research and works of several individuals, it has been verified that vertigo (or seasickness as they call it) results from an imbalance in the inner ear. In the article it states that vertigo was often thought of as an intestinal or digestive disorder brought upon by indigestion or stomachaches.

In 1900, the relationship between vertigo and the inner ear was first established and many tests ensued. In one experiment, animals were rocked on a moving floor that simulated a rolling sea and it resulted in the animals getting seasick. The head researcher, Kreidl, then severed the eighth nerve (the acoustic/auditory nerve). The same experiment was then conducted on the moving floor and the animals did not get sick.

1916 was the beginning of the acknowledgement that vertigo was the distinct result of the “disturbance of the vestibular apparatus”.  A lot of things were proven in the years leading up to 1916, such as champagne giving relief to vertigo symptoms (see last paragraph of the article) and the causes of vertigo “no longer be[ing] regarded as vague or mysterious”.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=950CE1DA113CE733A2575AC2A9669D946796D6CF

Post-Traumatic Vertigo

A number of our new evaluations that have come in suffer from post-traumatic vertigo. It has been reported that approximately 50% of head and neck injuries result in dizziness and disequilibrium. Post-traumatic dizziness due to  injuries of the head and neck are most commonly linked to post-traumatic concussions, but there are other diagnoses that should be taken into account. In the link provided below is an article written about the different diagnoses of post-traumatic injuries: temporal bone fracture, labyrinthine concussion, BPPV, perilymphatic fistula, post-traumatic Meniere’s syndrome (hydrops), epileptic vertigo, cervical vertigo, migraine-related vertigo, post-concussion syndrome.

This article definitely gives an in depth look at specific symptoms for each of the above diagnoses, along with how long it takes for the symptoms to appear (sometimes symptoms take days or even weeks to appear after injury), and successful management of the symptoms for each diagnoses.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4100/is_200410/ai_n9464827/?tag=content;col1

Vestibular Disorder Stressing You Out?

Vertigo, dizziness, Meniere’s disease, tinnitus and other vestibular symptoms and disorders can be extremely stressful. The feeling that nobody really understands what you’re going through with these “invisible” symptoms can cause extreme anxiety in individuals.

Here are some helpful tips on how to calm your anxiety:

  1. Exercise. Few things can help relax you more quickly than a bit of vigorous exercise. [If your symptoms are flaring up, maybe even go for a slow walk outdoors.]
  2. Meditate. Try taking a few minutes out of your day to clear your mind of your worries and meditate.
  3. Breathe deeply. Count your breaths and concentrate on breathing in and out deeply.
  4. Focus on something else. Temporarily [shift] your attention to something else unrelated to what you’re upset about.
  5. Talk to others. Connecting with a friend or family member and sharing your anxieties can be a great way to get insight, advice and to alleviate some of your stress by getting support and understanding.
  6. Slow down. Give yourself a break and just slow down if you’re feeling stressed out. Getting yourself worked up to rush around won’t help, so slow down, take a break and let yourself relax.
  7. Don’t work yourself up. Stop yourself if you feel that you’re getting yourself riled up, and force yourself to calm down and look at things rationally.
  8. Let the past go. If you’re feeling bad about things that have already happened, take a moment to realize that there’s nothing you can do to change these things now. Take steps to begin letting the past go and making positive choices for the future.

The following web site has a list of 50 “quick and easy ways to calm your anxiety”, including dietary suggestions and tips for both the home and workplaces.

http://noedb.org/library/features/50_quick_and_easy_ways_to_calm_your_anxiety