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Understanding the role of physiotherapy in treating Vestibular Neuritis

Tue Mar 22

Vestibular neuritis is a condition in which the nerve (cochlear nerve) that transmits information from the inner ear to the brain becomes inflamed. This might occur due to a bacterial or viral infection of the inner ear or the nerve. Vestibular neuritis often affects just one ear, causing vertigo and dizziness but no hearing loss. You will find physio in Calgary for dizziness treatment.

If the inflammation becomes chronic, it might last a few weeks or create lasting effects. Physiotherapy is a powerful tool for reducing the symptoms of vestibular neuritis and preventing it from becoming a chronic illness. Experienced physiotherapists will examine your symptoms and build a customized programme to help you heal as quickly as possible.

Vestibular neuritis can be affected by a combination of viral or bacterial diseases. It is vital to recognize the underlying cause of your illness as soon as possible since this will aid in the development of the most successful treatment plan. The following are some of the possible causes of vestibular neuritis;

–        Allergies.

–        Cold or flu.

–        Head injury.

–        Benign tumours.

–        Injury to ears.

–        Bleeding in the brain.

–        Side effects of certain drugs.

–        Meningitis.

–        Measles or mumps.

–        Glandular fever.

Symptoms of vestibular neuritis.

The intensity and causes of your vestibular neuritis will determine the symptoms you encounter. You must get expert care as soon as you detect any of the symptoms listed below since this will help you recover more quickly. Your physiotherapist will create a tailored treatment plan based on your symptoms. Signs to look out for include;

–        Anxiety or panic attack.

–        Nausea.

–        Dizziness or vertigo.

–        Vomiting.

–        Difficulty in standing or walking.

–        Loss of balance.

–        Fatigue.

–        Poor concentration.

–        Inability to conduct normal activities of life.

–        Sensitivity to sound or light.

How can a physiotherapist diagnose it?

Vestibular neuritis cannot be diagnosed with a particular test or scan. The diagnosis is based on many characteristics that rule it in and out.

Factors that can determine your diagnosis.

Medical history.

What specific symptoms did you experience, and in what order did they appear? If you endure strong bouts of vertigo regularly (after the acute phase), you most likely do not have vestibular neuritis and it needs physiotherapy for vertigo.

Manual neurological tests.

It examines the vestibular function and eliminates the possibility of other neurological reasons.

Balance and gait testing.

Does the test match the loss of vestibular function?


Do you have any problems with your vestibular eye reflexes? And do they resemble the symptoms of vestibular neuritis?

Positional tests.

Are the symptoms and nystagmus patterns consistent with vestibular neuritis, or do they point to other vestibular issues or non-vestibular causes?

Caloric tests.

Do air injections or warm/cold water into the inner ear cause changes in vestibular nerve function?

Vestibular physiotherapists are experts in checking the vestibular system and provide a diagnosis, including if you have vestibular neuritis.

Treatments for vestibular neuritis.

Vestibular suppressant medication.

These are often prescribed, with Serc and Gravol being the most prevalent in Canada. These medications don’t truly ‘treat’ the condition; rather, they try to alleviate its symptoms (think of taking Tylenol for a sprained ankle).

Serc, on the other hand, works best as a vestibular suppressant in the acute phase, when the vestibular system is hyperactive. Its usefulness is severely restricted after this time frame, and in many situations, it can interfere with your head’s capacity to adjust, resulting in long-term dizzy issues. In such cases, dizziness physiotherapy can help you deal with your dizziness issues promptly with the right approach.

It’s never a bad idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to use Betahistine and whether they have any concerns regarding long-term use.

Corticosteroid therapy.

By enhancing the pace of vestibular compensation, steroid-based drugs like methylprednisolone and glucocorticoids have been demonstrated to shorten the acute phase of neuritis significantly. These steroids serve to diminish the inflammation of the vestibular nerve and the nerve’s direct injury. They are, however, best given within the first week of symptom onset, when active inflammation is more likely to be present. Schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit an urgent care facility.

Physiotherapy for vestibular neuritis. 

Given the multifaceted impacts of Vestibular Neuritis, it is critical to seek competent medical help to alleviate symptoms and enhance the affected person’s quality of life. Vestibular Neuritis is treated using the following methods;

Symptoms management.

The management and control of typical symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness are the first steps in the therapy of Vestibular Neuritis. Doctors widely prescribed antiemetics and vestibular suppressants to treat nausea and vomiting and avoid dizziness. A rest period is also recommended to prevent future injuries.

Rehabilitation program for balance.

The long-term care of Vestibular Neuritis focuses on regaining balance and avoiding vertigo to avoid vestibular hypofunction (inner ear weakening), which can cause persistent light-headedness or dizziness with head and body movements. A vestibular physiotherapy programme that employs a range of exercises to retrain the affected individual’s brain to adjust to the changes in balance that they feel during an episode of dizziness is advised to attain this goal. Vestibular neuritis physiotherapists commonly use the following exercises to regain balance and minimize the chance of falling.

–        Standing exercises to teach the patient how to move their weight forward, backward, and side to side.

–        Exercises to educate the patient on maintaining their eyesight while performing quick head rotations.

–        Exercises to teach patients how to maintain their eyes fixed on a distant location while walking, with short glances at the ground.

Does vestibular neuritis go away?

The good news is that severe vertigo and symptoms during the Acute Stage of onset recover dramatically during the first 1-3 days. Many individuals (50 percent) can be symptom-free in as little as six weeks after their symptoms begin.However, many patients do not develop sufficient vestibular compensation to feel fully healed from vestibular neuritis. These patients frequently assume they are feeling much better when, in fact, they have been avoiding the motions and activities that trigger their symptoms (consciously or subconsciously). Visit your nearest physiotherapy clinic to get vertigo treatment in Calgary.