Good balance is often taken for granted. For example, 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 accompanying unsteadiness can include dizziness, vertigo, hearing and vision problems, and difficulty concentrating 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 that controls 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 correctly diagnose vestibular dysfunction. We use infrared goggles to examine what the eyes are doing in the dark, meaning the visual system is not being used. We also evaluate various balance aspects with a computerized postural stability assessment (CAPS). This helps us look closer at the vestibular system's control of the body's balance and stability.