Spatial disorientation can occur at people's lives at any moment. However, when these episodes become frequent, whether lasting only for a few minutes or even days and weeks, it could be a primary sign of a vestibular dysfunction. While either accompanied or not by other symptoms, these episodes could indicate a primary sign of a vestibular disorder in addition to an array of cardiovascular, neurological, metabolic, vision, and psychological problems. Having a professional accessing these signs and analyzing the complexities of each individual is critical for the outcome of the treatment proposed.
The following is a list of symptoms that have been reported by people with vestibular disorders. Not all symptoms will be experienced by every person, and other symptoms are possible.
Vertigo can be described as a sensation of whirling and loss of balance, illustrated particularly with looking down from a great height or spinning, It is, commonly caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve
Feeling faint, woozy, weak or unsteady. Dizziness is a broad term used to characterize a wide number of sensations. It is also a very common reason adults visit their doctors. When frequent, dizziness spells can significantly affect your life. While very disruptive, dizziness rarely signals a life-threatening condition.Treatment of dizziness depends on the cause and your symptoms.
Spinning or whirling sensation; a feeling the person or world moving when it is not (vertigo)
Symptoms can be present while sitting still, in specific positions, or with movement
Lightheaded, floating, or rocking sensation (dizziness)
Sensation of being heavily weighted or pulled in one direction
Good balance is often taken for granted. Most people don’t find it difficult to walk across a gravel driveway, transition from walking on a sidewalk to grass, or get out of bed in the middle of the night without stumbling. However, with impaired balance such activities can be extremely fatiguing and sometimes dangerous.
Imbalance, stumbling, difficulty walking straight or when turning
Clumsiness or difficulty with coordination
Difficulty maintaining straight posture; head may be tilted to the side
Tendency to look downward to confirm the location of the ground
Tendency to touch or hold onto something when standing, or to touch or hold the head while seated
Sensitivity to changes in walking surfaces or footwear
Difficulty walking in the dark
Muscle and joint pain (due to difficulty balancing)
Trouble focusing or tracking objects with the eyes; objects or words on a page seem to jump, bounce, float, blur, or may appear doubled
Discomfort from busy visual environments such as traffic, crowds, stores, and patterns
Sensitivity to light, glare, and moving © Vestibular Disorders Association ◦ vestibular.org ◦ Page 2 of 2 or flickering lights; fluorescent lights may be especially troublesome
Tendency to focus on nearby objects; increased discomfort when focusing at a distance
Increased night blindness
Poor depth perception
Hearing loss; distorted, muffled, or fluctuating hearing
Tinnitus (ringing, roaring, buzzing, whooshing, or other noises in the ear)
Sensitivity to loud noises or environments that may increase symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, or imbalance
Difficulty concentrating and paying attention, easily distracted
Forgetfulness and short-term memory lapses
Confusion, disorientation, and difficulty comprehending directions or instructions
Difficulty understanding conversations, especially when there is background noise or movement
Mental and/or physical fatigue out of proportion to activity
Loss of self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-esteem
(Note: these are not necessarily a direct effect of a vestibular problem, but commonly found along with vestibular problems.)
An inner ear disorder may be present even when there are no obvious or severe symptoms. It is important to note that most of these individual symptoms can also be caused by other unrelated conditions and should be discussed with a health professional.
Nausea or vomiting
Sensation of being “hungover” or “seasick”
Feeling of fullness in the ears
Sensitivity to pressure or temperature changes and wind currents
By The Vestibular Disorders Association, with contributions from Jeremy Hinton, DPT
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