Ear related balance disorders can affect people in different ways:
- Feeling of swaying or rocking
- Feeling unsteady on the feet
- Spinning sensation upon movement, particularly when involving movement of the head (up; down; side to side)
Patients with peripheral vestibular/balance disorders such as labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis (an inner ear infection usually caused by a virus) typically experience an acute episode of very severe dizziness for 24-72 hours, accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Symptoms start reducing with central compensation over a period of days and weeks, though this may be incomplete and can cause chronic dizziness.
Following the acute phase, treatment with gaze and balance exercises have reported high success rates with improving central compensation. These customised exercises are known as Vestibular Rehabilitation or Balance Rehabilitation. If you have been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, the classic symptoms being vertigo (drop) attacks, vomiting, hearing loss, tinnitus and aural pressure, Balance Rehabilitation may be beneficial.
*Note: If there are health problems in addition to a vestibular / balance disturbance, this may compromise the recovery rate or the full potential of Vestibular Rehabilitation.
*Gradual withdrawal from Betahistine (Serc) and other vestibular suppressants is recommended wherever possible, as these prevent central compensation and prolong symptomatology