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The vestibular system consists of 5 sensory organs – 3 semi-circular canals and two otolith organs housed inside the skull. The sensory organs respond to movement of the head to create information that travels to the brain for interpretation of a person’s movement both direction and speed. The brain will convert this information into muscle activation to co-ordinate our sense of balance, eye and head movements. The vestibular system enables us to keep moving, walk, run, prevent a fall and maintain clear vision. Pathology in one or both ear’s or in the part of the brain responsible for interpreting this information can result in a number of symptoms.
The sensation that you or the world is spinning.
The sensation of being off balance. Can include the sensation of veering or lurching to the side, forward or back when standing or walking. Falls can occur however they are more common in those with both vestibular system damage and in the older person.
Headaches & Sore Eyes
the constant attempt to improve your vision and to controlyour movements often lead to complaints of headaches and painful eyes.
Any sensation including spinning or wobbling, floating, rocking in the head.
Usually more pronounced when moving difficulty focusing on objects –
they seem to move out of view briefly.
this can result from a direct incident that leads to dizziness such as Cervico-genic dizziness, or simply from holding your neck stiff to slow movement that triggers your dizziness. Treatment of the neck can help but if the cause of the dizziness is more than just from a neck dysfunction the symptoms of dizziness or imbalance will return and only vestibular rehabilitation will improve this.
Feeling of going to faint – like the brain is moving.
Difficulty thinking – the overload of trying to keep ones balance, vision and
stopping the sense of movement results in difficulty with thinking, dual tasking and ultimately fatigue.
Reduction in fitness, health, participation of sport and life. Many of the symptoms can impact on your overall health and ability to engage in your life’s activities and pursuits.