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How is a balance disorder diagnosed and treated? – Part 1

• A balance disorder is complicated.
• There are many kinds of balance disorders.
• Other health conditions and a few medications may contribute to an account balance disorder. These include:
– ear infections
– blood pressure level changes
– several vision problems
• A person experiencing dizziness should visit a physiotherapist or physician.
• A doctor can assess for the medical disorder, such as a stroke or infection.
• A physiotherapist can assess balance or maybe a dizziness disorder and provide specific treatment.
• The principal physician may take an opinion of an otolaryngologist to help evaluate a program right for the balance disorder.
• An otolaryngologist is often a physician or surgeon who focuses primarily on diseases and disorders in the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck.
• They also expertise in balance disorders.
• He or she will go through a detailed health background.
• Then a physical examination is performed in order to get started to work through possible factors which can be behind the disorder of balance.
• The physician may perform tests to get additional data in order to assess the cause and the extent of disturbance in balance.
• These sorts of tests needed vary depending on the patient’s symptoms and health status.
• Not every patient requires every test as there are many factors contributing to balance disorder.

Diagnostic Testing for Balance Disorder

Tests of vestibular system function include:
• Electronystagmography
• Videonystagmograph
• Rotation tests
• Computerized Dynamic Posturography
• Caloric reflex test
Tests of auditory system function include:
• Pure-tone audiometry
• Speech audiometry
• Acoustic-reflex
• Electrocochleography
• Otoacoustic emissions
• Auditory brainstem response test.
Other diagnostic tests include:
• MRI
• Computerized tomography

Treatment and Prevention for Balance Disorders

• There are several options for treating balance disorders.
• First option involves treatment of a disease or a disorder that may be the reason to this balance problem. These may include:
– ear infection
– stroke
– multiple sclerosis
– spinal cord injury
– parkinson’s
– neuromuscular conditions
– acquired brain injury
– cerebellar dysfunctions
– ataxia

Individual treatment varies and depends on the assessment results of:
– Symptoms
– Track record
– Overall health and well-being
– Outcomes of lab tests
• Tai chi is a cost-effective method which is employed to prevent falls in the elderly people.
• Various types of balance disorders require balance training, prescribed by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist.
• Physiotherapists often use measures of standardized outcome to obtain useful information and data about patient’s present condition.

Some standardized balance assessments or outcome measures include:
– Functional Reach Test
– Clinical Test for Sensory Integration in Balance
– Berg Balance Scale and Timed Up
• The data and information obtained so can further help the physiotherapist to keep the patient in an intervention program that is right for him or her.
• This shall be specific to the individual and his or her assessment.

Intervention programs occasionally includes:
– training activities
– raise static and dynamic postural control
– body alignment
– weight distribution
– ambulation
– fall prevention
– sensory function
• Though there are plenty of programs that help the brain to adapt to vestibular injuries, but still it would be only an adaptation to the injury and not treating or minimizing it.
• Even though patient’s balance is restored, the check system injury still exists.

Treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo – BPPV

• Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is attributable to misplaced crystals inside the ear.
• Treatment involves moving these crystals outside of areas, which cause vertigo and place them into places where they don’t cause vertigo.
• Many exercises are developed to shift these crystals.
• The achievements of these exercises depend on their being performed correctly. Both exercises are:

The Brandt-Daroff Exercises
• They are done at the home.
• They have a really high recovery rate.
• But they are unpleasant and time-consuming to accomplish.

The Epley’s Exercises
• They are often performed by the doctor.
• They can be performed in the home too.
Various devices are intended for home BPPV treatment.

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