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10 Things About Vestibular Disorders You Probably Didn’t Know

tired woman 640The vestibular system enables us to stand straight, stable, and balanced.  It also sends signals to the brain to tell us if we are speeding up or slowing down.  People who have vestibular disorders often feel dizzy, unstable, or vertigo.  They complain of feeling disoriented, falling, or stumbling. 

There is a direct connection between the visual system and the balance system.  When there is a mismatch between the two systems, or a break between the two, people have those symptoms.  Creating a better input and connection between the visual and vestibular systems is precisely what Neuro-Optometrists do.  Read on to learn more about visual-vestibular disorders and how we may be able to treat your dizziness.

10 Quick Facts About Vestibular Disorders

  1. Vestibular disorders affect more than 35% of adults over the age of 40.
  2. The vestibular system is made up of 3 canals that have tiny fluid-filled parts within the inner ear, and they and act like a carpenter's level.  It sends signals to areas in the brain that process balance and movement.
  3. Some of the 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.  An Neuro-Optometrist is the professional who is skilled in this area, and can help.  
  4. Vestibular disorders can be caused by injury, disease, drug or chemical poisoning, aging, and autoimmune diseases.
  5. Certain nutritional and lifestyle changes such as reducing salt intake, caffeine, and alcohol could improve your condition and ease symptoms of vestibular disorders. 
  6. Vestibular disorders can be challenging to diagnose. Many patients report visiting four or more physicians over the course of several years before arriving at correct diagnosis.
  7. Some common vestibular disorders are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, Meniere’s disease, and vestibular migraine.
  8. Patients with undiagnosed vestibular disorders may sometimes be perceived as lazy, anxious, inattentive, or attention-seeking.
  9. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation is a form of vision therapy, and can be life-changing for some patients.  At times, doctors may prescribe special prisms to help alleviate symptoms.  
  10. There is hope! Neuro-Optometrists offer Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation. Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation improves and re-establishes the link between the visual and vestibular information.  Patients who suffer from dizziness or other symptoms of vestibular disorders learn how to coordinate the visual and vestibular systems.  This then reduces or even eliminates the symptoms such as the feeling of dizziness and disorientation.

If you are experiencing dizziness, contact Family Eye Care to schedule a Functional Vision Evaluation. We also work closely with other professionals in this area.  

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

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