Posts Tagged ‘rehabilitation’

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!

http://boards.webmd.com/webx?THDX@@.89afaa60!thdchild=.89afaa60

Ototoxicity

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.

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

How to Prevent the Elderly from Falling

Here’s some more great tips from eHow (I’ve edited it a bit to pertain to our site – this has to do with the elderly more than just dizzy patients).

1) The house of the elderly should be well-lighted. Rugs and carpets should be kept away and or well tacked. Railings should be present at stairways and even the bathroom.

2) Walkways should be smooth and free from obstructions. Toys and other unnecessary things around the living room should be kept lest these could cause the elderly to slip and fall.

3) Electrical cords and even telephone cords and chargers should be kept and or set aside in order not to block the walkways.

4) Do not let the elderly climb the stairs alone. Make sure they wear a non-skid sole shoes.

5) Make sure the elderly can access his/her medicine(s) easily.

6) Check with the doctor on the medicines whether these could cause dizziness to the elderly. Have their eyesight, hearing and blood pressure checked since these could be one of the causes for the elderly to fall and be seriously injured.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4469891_prevent-elderly-falling.html

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.

Is it BPPV?

The symptoms of BPPV can mimic other disorders: dizziness, nausea, loss of balance. How do you know if what you have is BPPV?

1) When you get dizzy, it is not permanent. It only lasts for a short while (seconds to minutes).

2) Your dizziness can be onset from your head movement – whether it’s looking up or down, turning over in bed, or other sudden head motion.

3) After this brief burst of dizziness, you may be nauseous for hours.

4) You don’t have any ringing in your ears or hearing loss associated with these bursts of dizziness.

5) The room is spinning.

Supporting Your Spouse When they Have a Vestibular Disorder

1. Communicate with your spouse. Vestibular disorders are invisible, so you may not be able to see symptoms, which can be frustrating. It is important to openly communicate with your spouse, listen to what they are going through, ask questions and explain how YOU feel.

2. Go to doctor’s appointments with your spouse. This will give you a better understanding of the prognosis of this balance disorder and an opportunity to ask questions your spouse may not be able to answer.

3. Go to support group meetings with your spouse. This will give you a chance to meet other individuals who are playing the role of the supporting spouse.

4. Make sure YOU have a support system. Whether it be friends, family, or other spouses like yourself, it is important that you have someone that you can vent to.

5. Take time out for YOU. Being someone’s support system is tiring. Make sure to go golfing, get that massage or take that shopping trip that rewards you!