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. Symptoms that accompany the unsteadiness can include dizziness, vertigo, hearing and vision problems, and difficulty with concentration and memory.
Symptoms of chronic dizziness or imbalance can have a significant impact on the ability of a disabled person to perform one or more activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or simply getting around inside the home. The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these processing areas, vestibular disorders can result. Vestibular disorders can also result from or be worsened by genetic or environmental conditions or occur for unknown reasons.
Videonystagmography is used to help properly diagnose vestibular dysfunction. We use infrared goggles to exam what the eyes are doing in the dark, meaning the visual system is not being used. We also evaluate various aspects of balance with a computerized assessment of postural stability (CAPS). This helps us look closer and the vestibular systems control of the bodies balance and stability.