Vestibular disorders refer to problems with the inner ear, often causing vertigo/spinning, dizziness and imbalance. The two main types of vestibular problems treated at the Greater Baltimore Center for Rehabilitation Medicine include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – BPPV occurs when particles get loose in the ear. This causes individuals to experience a spinning sensation when they sit up after lying down. A treatment called “repositioning” can be done at the Center and typically results in instantaneous relief.
- Vestibular hypofunction/vestibular neuritis – Vestibular hypofunction or neuritis occurs when a virus damages the nerve coming out of the inner ear. The damage can cause dizziness and imbalance. Experts at the Center teach patients exercises that essentially retrain the brain to “work better” with the inner ear, resulting in week over week improvements.
During the initial visit, patients can expect to gain a better understanding of their condition and learn exercises (typically related to head movement) that they can do at home to alleviate their symptoms. The Center works closely with GBMC’s ear, nose and throat specialists; neurologists; and primary care physicians to help vestibular patients navigate the healthcare system easily if additional treatment is necessary.