Vestibular disease

What is Vestibular disease or syndrome?

The vestibular system is a sensory organ located in the inner ear that contributes to the sensation of movement and balance in most mammals. Vestibular syndrome is the clinical manifestation of damage to the vestibular system. But what are the causes?

Causes of vestibular disease

Peripheral vestibular disease is usually the consequence of dysfunctions in the semicircular canals, the vestibule or the vestibular nerve. It can therefore appear following:

As for central vestibular disease, it results from dysfunctions in the balance centers of the central nervous system (CNS). This may follow damage to the brainstem or cerebellum from:

  • multiple sclerosis,
  • a brain tumor,
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation,
  • Wallenberg Syndrome.

Symptoms of Vestibular Syndrome

Vestibular syndrome is manifested by three symptoms:

  • A nystagmus: it consists of an involuntary oscillation of the eyeball.
  • Dizziness: During vertigo attacks, the vestibular system, that provides orientation in space and posture, is affected creating balance problems.
  • Hearing problems: these can go as far as hearing loss.

Vestibular disease treatment

The treatment of vestibular syndrome is based on three main steps:

  • Treatment of dizziness with the administration of an anti-vertigo drug, a sedative and / or an antiemetic.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation, which can be performed by a vestibular physiotherapist.
  • Finally, the use of surgery to cut the vestibular nerve or eliminate the vestibular receptors is also a solution.

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