Dizziness & Vertigo
We’ve all had the sensation of being dizzy – as if you can’t focus, can’t see straight, can’t stand upright without swaying or falling. You may even experience “tunnel vision,” where your peripheral vision goes dark for a few seconds.
Dizziness is common and can have many causes. Vertigo, however, is a little different. While dizziness is typically synonymous with “lightheadedness,” which creates the illusion of being unsteady, vertigo is typically a response to a physiological factor that is causing a quite literal imbalance in your body. Those experiencing vertigo have reported feeling as if they are “rocking” or “spinning,” even when they are sitting still.
Physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo is a common and effective course of treatment. For inquiries regarding vertigo testing, don’t hesitate to contact us at Boulet Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute. If you’ve been feeling dizzy, or you think you may have some of the symptoms of vertigo, contact our Lafayette physical therapy office today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced physical therapists.
Dizziness: Causes and Symptoms
Just a few of the many factors that can lead to dizziness include lack of sleep, poor nutrition, overexertion, or a physical ailment, such as a head cold or the flu. Dizziness can also occur from something as simple as standing up too quickly after an extended period of rest.
Some accompanying symptoms to dizziness may include:
- Loss of balance
- Lightheadedness or heavy-headedness
- Momentarily impaired vision (i.e. tunnel vision)
- Feeling woozy or faint
Vertigo: Causes and Symptoms
The causes of vertigo aren’t nearly as many. In fact, vertigo is most commonly caused by an imbalance in the inner ear, also known as the “vestibular system.” Your vestibular system helps you maintain your balance and center of gravity by sending messages to your brain regarding your movement. When this is impaired, the necessary messages become blocked from your brain, and your movement becomes affected. You may feel as if the world is spinning around you, you can’t focus your vision for prolonged periods of time, or you can’t stand/move properly without feeling like you are going to topple over.
Some common causes of vertigo include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This is the most common cause of vertigo. It occurs when the tiny calcium crystals located in your ears break apart and move around to different parts of the ear, where they are not supposed to be. This can cause sudden spinning sensations (vertigo) and inner-ear discomfort.
- Meniere’s disease. This occurs when fluid builds up in your ear(s). This typically includes “ringing” in your ear and sudden waves of intense dizziness that may last for hours. You may also experience momentary hearing losses.
- Vestibular neuritis. This is an inner-ear infection that can cause vertigo.
- Migraines. Migraines can impact your vestibular system, thus causing episodes of vertigo which may be coupled with a sensitivity to light or sound. Vision may also be impaired.
- Stroke. A stroke affects movement in your whole body. If you recently suffered a stroke, you may experience waves of vertigo which may linger for extended periods of time.
Some accompanying symptoms to vertigo may also include:
- Inability to focus or remain alert
- Double vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Arm or leg weakness
- Difficulty seeing or speaking
- Abnormal eye movements
Get back on your feet with physical therapy:
Both dizziness and vertigo can hinder your daily life, limiting your ability to perform even the simplest of tasks. Luckily, no matter what the cause may be, physical therapy for dizziness and vertigo can help. Boulet Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute is very successful at diagnosing and treating both dizziness and vertigo with vestibular rehabilitation.
Vestibular rehabilitation includes treatments such as the Epley maneuver and Cawthorne head exercises. The Epley maneuver allows for canalith repositioning, in order to move the broken calcium crystals in patients experiencing BBPV. Cawthorne head exercises focus on decreasing nerve sensitivity and reducing the effects of vertigo.
In Lafayette, recovery from vertigo is only offered in select practices, Boulet Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute is one of them. Our advanced methods and diagnostic tools have earned us a reputation as being one of the most successful Lafayette physical therapy practices for treating dizziness and vertigo. If you are experiencing either of these conditions, contact us to schedule an appointment today. We will help you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.