Suffering from dizziness is hard. Uncertainty about taking a step or leaning down to pick something up is physically taxing and emotionally draining. Other vestibular disorder symptoms such as vertigo, gaze instability, and/or imbalance and falls are equally troublesome. If you have been searching for help in managing an unreliable sense of equilibrium, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) is the antidote.

 

What is VRT?

VRT is an effective way for anyone with vestibular disorders to combat the detrimental effects of dizziness and other associated symptoms. It is a customized exercise program that focuses on your specific needs. Three primary exercise methods are applied. They are;

  • Habituation – teaching the brain to disregard the irregular signals sent by the inner ear
  • Gaze Stabilization – develop increased control of eye movements
  • Balance Training – improve physical stability

 

What are the Benefits?

In addition to improving dizziness, VRT improves your overall quality of life. One of the main side-effects of the inner ear and balance challenges is a decrease in doing what you love. Going on walks and bicycle rides, making handmade crafts, and creating tantalizing family meals can become nearly impossible as the ability to focus and stay upright is challenged. Many people opt for a sedentary lifestyle to manage or avoid dizziness altogether. In turn, emotional struggles such as anxiety and depression can set in. VRT trains your body in a way that allows you to maintain, or return, to the lifestyle you cherish.

What can I do at Home?

One of the best things you can do for yourself at home is to stay active.  Walking and low-impact aerobics are a great place to start. Additionally, you can observe the head movements that cause dizziness. Once you know what they are, you can repeat them. This repetition will allow your brain to recognize and disregard irregular inner ear signals.

 

How Scottsdale Audiologists can Help

While staying active and repeating dizziness inducing head movements is good, the most important thing you can do is to work with a physical therapist. Here at Scottsdale Ears, Nose & Throat, we have the unique ability to place you with our onsite physical therapist, Dr. Samantha Stopler. No other ENT office in Arizona has a physical therapist within their facility. Dr. Stolper specializes in Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, so you can rest assured that you are getting the best care possible. She is dedicated to improving your quality of life.

Book an initial evaluation with Dr. Samantha Stopler by clicking here.

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Dr. Kurt E. Heiland, MD

Dr. Kurt E. Heiland, MD

Dr. Heiland specializes in treating ear, nose, and throat issues with comprehensive pediatric and adult medical and surgical procedures, including head and neck surgery. Dr. Heiland is also qualified to treat balance problems and is a member of VEDA (Vestibular Disorders Association).
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.