November 19, 2017

How to do Home Balance Exercises for Treating Dizziness VIDEO

The home balance exercises described in the video may be helpful to resolve dizziness due to vestibular dysfunction that is NOT due to BPPV or Meniere's Disease which are treated differently. Vestibular dysfunction amenable to a home exercise regimen is typically determined based on VNG or ENG testing. Such exercises are helpful in select patients as it slowly challenges the inner ear balance system in such a way to make it work better. The analogy would be a young gymnast doing repetitive exercises to make their sense of balance supernormal in order perform amazing feats on the balance beam or a ballerina doing similar exercises to maintain perfect balance even though they are dancing on the tip of one toe. Needless to say, there is no "pill" that makes balance improve quickly. Drugs like meclizine may only temporarily help, but often makes balance WORSE in the long run. Read more about how drugs like meclizine work.

The human balance system is composed of 3 different systems working together to allow for dizzy-free movement.

• The eyes provide visual cues
• The inner ear balance system provides gyroscopic information
• Proprioception provides sense of position in space based on information provided from the muscles, tendons, and joints

What these exercises try to accomplish is to challenge and thereby improve the inner ear balance system in a graduated fashion by slowly taking away balance information provided by the eyes (by closing them) as well as proprioception (walking heel-to-toe). Although the first few exercises may be overly easy and simplistic, balance may be quite challenging by the end (exercise #10).

Each exercise should be performed 20 times, twice a day.

Keep in mind that such home exercises will NOT help with dizziness due to BPPV as well as Meniere's Disease. It only helps with stable vestibular dysfunction. To use an orthopedic analogy, BPPV is like a dislocated shoulder for which a single set of highly specific movements can "cure" the problem. Meniere's disease is analogous to severe muscle cramps (periods of absolute normalcy followed by extreme abnormality). Stable vestibular dysfunction is analagous to weak muscles for which working out in the gym regularly is required to make them stronger.

If you are not quite sure what type of dizziness you have, click here to try and figure it out.

The video below explains how the inner ear balance system works:

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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