Dizziness and Balance Disorders
A balance disorder is a disturbance that causes an individual to feel unsteady, for example when standing or walking. It may be accompanied by feelings of giddiness, or wooziness, or having a sensation of movement, spinning, or floating.
Cases of dizziness related to the ear are often characterised by vertigo (rotational movement/spinning) and nausea.
Vertigo is a subtype of dizziness in which a patient inappropriately experiences the perception of motion (usually a spinning motion) due to dysfunction of the Vestibular system. It is often associated with nausea and vomiting as well as imbalance, causing difficulties with standing or walking.
Meniere's Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to a varying degree. It is characterised by episodes of vertigo, low-pitched tinnitus, aural fullness, and hearing loss.
Physiotherapists have a role in the management of Ménière's disease. In Vestibular rehabilitation, physiotherapists use interventions aimed at stabilising gaze, reducing dizziness and increasing postural balance within the context of activities of daily living. After a Vestibular assessment is conducted, the physiotherapist tailors the treatment plan to the needs of the individual patient.