The vestibular system is what helps us feel balanced and stable. People with vestibular disorders may experience symptoms like frequent dizzy spells, blurred vision, disorientation, falling, or stumbling. What many don’t know is that an optometrist trained in the field of neuro-optometry may be able to help. Read on to learn more about vestibular disorders and how we may be able to treat your dizziness.
10 Quick Facts About Vestibular Disorders
- Vestibular disorders affect more than 35% of adults over the age of 40.
- The vestibular system is made up of tiny fluid-filled parts within the inner ear, acting like a builder's level, communicating with specific areas of the brain to process balance and movement.
- Other symptoms of vestibular disorders include nausea, fatigue, difficulty focusing on objects, poor concentration, difficulty reading, hearing loss, and ringing in the ear. Many of these symptoms may overlap with other conditions, so be sure to visit your doctor or eye doctor to rule out these conditions.
- Vestibular disorders can be caused by injury, disease, drug or chemical poisoning, ageing, and autoimmune diseases.
- Certain lifestyle changes can help ease symptoms of vestibular disorders. Reducing your intake of salt, caffeine, and alcohol could improve your condition.
- Vestibular disorders can be challenging to diagnose. Many patients report visiting four or more physicians over the course of several years before receiving a proper diagnosis.
- Some common vestibular disorders are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s disease, and vestibular migraine.
- Sadly, patients with undiagnosed vestibular disorders may sometimes be perceived as lazy, anxious, inattentive, or attention-seeking.
- While there is no cure for vestibular disorders, some treatments can help cope with the condition, such as medications, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and surgery. Neuro-optometric rehabilitation, which is a form of vision therapy, can be life-changing for some patients.
- There is hope! Neuro-optometrists who perform neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy can help many patients suffering from dizziness or other symptoms of vestibular disorders by improving the way the brain processes information. In some cases, vestibular disorders are caused or exacerbated by poor coordination between the eyes and the brain. With neuro-optometric therapy, patients learn how to train their eyes and brain to work in unison, lessening or eliminating many of the symptoms associated with the condition, including dizziness and disorientation.
If you are experiencing dizziness, contact Blacksburg Eye Associates to schedule your functional visual evaluation. If your vision is healthy and doesn’t seem to be contributing to your symptoms, we can refer you to other health care professionals who can help.
Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, New River Valley, all throughout Virginia.