Gentle Treatments for PPPD and Other Vestibular Disorders
When a person struggles with balance issues, it drastically impacts life. Issues like difficulty focusing and sleeping and the constant worry of falling can dramatically disrupt someone’s way of life. Sometimes, it takes a toll on the body and mind, and an individual can respond emotionally to this health issue. Emotional reactions to the condition include fear, panic, stress, and anxiety.
These are connected or attributed to the changes in the position of the fluid inside your ear canals. A sensor in the ear sends information to the brain that contributes to a person’s sense of balance. Some things can affect the signals in the vestibular system, and these cause symptoms.
Dizziness and vertigo are the most common symptoms of a vestibular balance disorder. Tinnitus, a consistent ringing or swishing in the ear, is also a symptom. Underlying factors are usually the culprit, and the disorder may only be secondary. It can impact anyone but is more common in adults.
Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness
What is PPPD? How does it severely affect someone? This chronic condition is generally described as a constant feeling of floating or rocking without nausea. PPPD is triggered by complex visual environments, panic attacks, or standing up. It is challenging because PPPD can even last for months.
With PPPD, the brain’s ability to interpret space or motion following an alarming event like the ones mentioned above is jeopardized. Instead of calming down, the brain fails to reset, maintaining the abnormal perception, thus triggering the dizziness or rocking to continue. This makes the patient feel like PPPD recovery is somewhat impossible.
Gentle Treatment Options
Many patients go to vestibular audiologists for help. A battery of tests, including hearing, visual, and positional testing, might be performed to determine if the issues are connected to the vestibular system. Patients are referred to other specialists if all tests are normal and non-vestibular. Abnormal results would lead to additional vestibular testing to determine the required treatment.
Some audiologists would recommend the usual medications for vertigo. Prochlorperazine, like Stemetil, or antihistamines, is the most common prescription medication. However, more people are increasingly opting for other treatments to manage their condition. Stemetil alternatives in Australia now include much of the following.
A milder method to cope is through physical therapy. Therapists give patients walking and balancing exercises and closely monitor each session. Aside from exercises, therapists might provide videos that stimulate real-life activities. Eventually, therapy will include everyday activities that are planned to prevent unnecessary triggers. PT is typically done under medication if the case is more severe.
Modifications in a patient’s diet often aid with managing a vestibular disorder. A thoughtful diet can give an individual the proper nutrition that benefits cells, including those within the brain, inner ear, and muscles. If a vestibular diet is introduced, even metabolism can be improved to provide additional energy.
As the name suggests, neuroplasticity is a process that involves changes in the brain’s structure and function. The neuroplasticity therapist gets the body’s nervous system trained to react to stimuli with adaptation, habituation, and substitution. This therapy allows the brain to relearn to accept outside factors, although distorted, and get used to them. The brain compensates and modifies function and receives the stimuli as correct.
Studies and personal testimonies from patients that opted for gentle treatments show improvement in a patient’s way of life. These kinds of interventions are becoming popular with word of mouth, and a growing number of health practitioners are more open to these restorative solutions.