Understanding vestibulopathy: Symptoms and treatment options


Do you often feel dizzy or like you’ll lose your balance? You’re not alone. About 7% of patients older than 65 visit the doctor for dizziness, a major symptom of vestibulopathy. Vestibulopathy is a general diagnosis relating to damage to the inner ear. Infections, trauma and lack of blood flow to the inner ear can contribute to symptoms.

Symptoms of vestibulopathy

A vestibulopathy diagnosis is unspecific, but it can guide medical professionals to a more specific diagnosis. In particular, MRI imaging of the inner ear can uncover detailed causes of symptoms. As a result, patients can receive more individualized treatment.

The most common symptom of vestibulopathy is vertigo, or dizziness caused by simple movements. Other symptoms can include:

  • Motion sickness.
  • Headaches.
  • Frequent trips or falls due to a loss of balance.

Treatment options

Since vestibulopathy symptoms can limit daily activities, a treatment plan should be rigorous and comprehensive. The following treatments can help ease symptoms and support stable and healthy movement:

  1. Physical therapyResearch shows that exercise can help ease major symptoms of vestibular issues and restore the body’s sense of balance. Physical therapy can help patients implement these exercises into their daily routines.
  2. Lifestyle changes — Because vestibular issues can increase a patient’s risk of falling, it’s important that patients are educated about fall prevention measures. Medical professionals like physical therapists can discuss stable footwear, correct posture and exercise goals with patients. With professional tips, patients can better manage their symptoms.   
  1. Medication — Severe and constant vertigo may need to be addressed immediately. A doctor may prescribe medications that target and limit feelings of dizziness to improve daily function and quality of life.

Panther PT can address your dizziness

A major step toward vestibulopathy symptom management is physical therapy. During an initial appointment, our experts at Panther Physical Therapy can curate a treatment plan that suits your symptoms. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.