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Treatment and rehabilitation

How can we treat Balance and Vestibular Disorders?

Once your balance or vestibular disorder has been tested for and diagnosed accurately, our audiologist will discuss a range of recommendations and treatment options. These options may include referrals to other specialists as required. The options for treatment and management include:

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)

VRT is a specialised form of physical therapy for vestibular disorders. It is essentially a series of gentle physical exercises that can help improve vestibular adaptation and substitution. We have referral pathways across the entire state and work closely with specialist vestibular physiotherapists to assist in accessing and providing results to facilitate therapies.

Canalith repositioning manoeuvres (eg Epley manoeuvres)

The Epley and other otolith repositioning manoeuvres attempts to reposition free floating, misplaced otoliths to the posterior or anterior semi-circular canals where they belong.

General exercise

Balance retraining success relies on good general fitness. As such a range of low impact exercise is often recommended to help relieve symptoms of balance disorders.

Diet changes

Some people with vestibular disorders report that changes in diet, or removing certain things from their diet helps reduce some symptoms. Others have reported reduction in symptoms when excluding certain things from their consumption. This includes things as antacids, nicotine and ibuprofen.

Counselling

With the physical symptoms of vestibular disorders come connected psychological issues such as anxiety and depression. Support counselling including coping strategies and therapy can help patients deal with these issues before they become a burden.

Medication

Medication for vestibular disorders is only suitable if the condition is not chronic (long-lasting). These medications can be prescribed to reduce motion sickness or nausea. Other medications, such as steroids, antiviral and antibiotic drugs depending on other issues present.

Surgery

Surgery is a last resort and is only ever suggested should all other treatments fail. Surgery for vestibular disorders fall into two categories:

  • Corrective surgery aims to repair or stabilise the inner ear function.
  • Destructive surgery is done to stop the production of or transmission of sensory information from the inner ear to the brain.

Read more about balance and vestibular disorders

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