Northwest Hospital’s Vestibular Program is designed to evaluate symptoms of dizziness and/or loss of balance due to vestibular, or inner ear, conditions. Our team includes licensed physical and occupational therapists, all of whom have advanced training in vestibular rehabilitation.

Vestibular System
The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is made up of three small, semicircular canals; two sensory organs called the utricle and saccule; and the vestibular nerve. The vestibular system detects changes in head movement or body position to help maintain balance.

Symptoms of a vestibular disorder may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Episodes of spinning
  • Periods of light-headedness
  • Trouble focusing or reading
  • Loss of balance
  • Increased fatigue
  • Headache or increased neck tension

Common vestibular conditions include:

    Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
    A condition where free floating calcium particles, frequently referred to as “ear rocks,” dislodge in the inner ear, causing a sensation of dizziness or spinning with changes in position.

    Vestibular Labrynthitis
    A virus that affects the inner ear, causing damage to the hair cells. Symptoms may include dizziness, loss of balance and/or difficulty focusing when turning you head.

    Meniere’s Disease or Vestibular Hydrops
    A fluid imbalance in the inner ear. Symptoms may include a sudden onset of vertigo, ringing in the ear, fluctuating hearing loss and/or loss of balance.

    Central Vertigo
    A condition that can be caused by damage or trauma to the vestibular system from a stroke or head injury. Symptoms can include constant dizziness, headache and/or loss of balance.

    In most cases, vestibular therapy can help to reduce or stop symptoms of dizziness and improve balance through exercises or various repositioning techniques. We also provide patients with strategies to help manage dizziness during their daily routines while at home, work or out in the community. Depending on the nature of the problem, we also will create an exercise program designed specifically for each patient.