What is Vestibular Hypofunction which Varun Dhawan is suffering from?

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WHAT IS VESTIBULAR HYPOFUNCTION?

Vestibular hypofunction is a vestibular disorder that affects the balance of an individual. The Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy website mentions, "Unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH) is used when the balance system in your inner ear, the peripheral vestibular system, is not working properly. Each inner ear has a vestibular system, so unilateral means that only one system is impaired, while the other works normally." Bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH) affects both ears. Varun Dhawan did not mention if he is battling UVH or BVH.

What causes vestibular hypofunction?

There can be many different causes, the common ones are

  • Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis
  • Previous inner ear conditions
  • Changes in the balance systems associated with ageing
  • Medications
  • Concussion or head injury, blood clots or tumours

What are the Common Symptoms?

The symptoms depend on the cause, but most people will feel dizziness or vertigo, nausea, and poor balance. You may also struggle to walk when in busy places and in dark rooms or have a feeling of motion when things move quickly.

How can Physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapists will give you an individual programme of exercises based on your symptoms and goals to help you manage your symptoms. This will help your movement return to normal, or they will teach you how to compensate for the parts that are not working properly.

How is vestibular balance disorder treated?

Treatment will depend on the cause of your balance disorder and may include:

Treating any underlying causes. Depending on the cause, you may need antibiotics or antifungal treatments. These can treat ear infections that are causing your balance disorder.

Changes in lifestyle: You may be able to ease some symptoms with changes in diet and activity. This includes quitting smoking or avoiding nicotine.

Epley manoeuvre (Canalith repositioning manoeuvres): These are a specialized series of movements of your head and chest. The goal is to reposition particles in your semicircular canals into a position where they don't trigger symptoms.

Surgery: When medicine and other therapies are unable to control your symptoms, you may need surgery. The procedure depends on the underlying cause of the disorder. The goal is to stabilize and repair inner ear function.

Rehabilitation: If you struggle with vestibular balance disorders, you may need vestibular rehabilitation or balance retraining therapy. This helps you move through your day safely. A rehabilitation specialist will help you learn how to cope with dizziness in your daily life.

You may need to learn better safety strategies and make adjustments for going up and down stairs. Driving Walking and exercising using the bathroom organizing your home to make it safer, such as tightening handrails. Changing your shoes or clothing, such as wearing low heeled shortchanging your daily habits, such as planning your day so that you won't be walking in the dark learning how to use a cane or walker.

What are the complications of a vestibular balance disorder?

Possible complications include:

  • Injury from falling
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Discomfort

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