September is Fall Prevention Month, and Urban Poling is drawing attention to factors that contribute to falls related to imbalance. As we age, we grow more susceptible to impairments in vision, the vestibular system, proprioceptors, all of which play a large role in balance. Additionally, balance is impacted by muscle strength, joint mobility, and foot strength. Conditions such as arthritis contribute to joint weakness further exacerbating the risk of falls. The number of individuals who fall increases exponentially with each decade after the age of 65, and falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. Additionally, vestibular conditions aren’t exclusive to older adults; many young individuals can be impacted as well. In children, the vestibular system can be disrupted, resulting in symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, oscillopsia, gaze instability, and delayed development or diminished balance and other motor abilities. However, falls can be prevented; many steps can be taken […]
A Research Study Dr Laura Smith, a lecturer in Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Kent, collected information from people suffering from a vestibular disorder in the UK who had also been diagnosed with COVID-19. Follow is a summary of this project. Aims of the project In this project, how people with vestibular disorders had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic was explored. They wanted to find out about changes to their health during this time, as well how their everyday lives and routines had been impacted. How we collected the data They designed an online survey which asked about basic demographic information and health conditions. The survey also captured what vestibular symptoms people experienced before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what vestibular healthcare they had received throughout the pandemic. Questions also covered daily activities, work, and work-life balance. Some questions were in a multiple-choice format, while others […]
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PORTLAND, OR– July 29, 2021 – Life Rebalanced Chronicles documents the stories of nine individuals who did not expect to be knocked down by a vestibular disorder. All of them looked fear, anxiety, and loneliness in the face and said, “You will not define me.” Their message of hope is for everyone who struggles with invisible chronic illness or are navigating life’s challenges. The six-episode docuseries airs weekly starting August 10, in conjunction with Balance Awareness Week (Sept. 19-25, 2021). The series is a collaboration between the Vestibular Disorder Association (VeDA) and Kimberly Warner, filmmaker and founder of Unfixed Media. In 2015, Kimberly was diagnosed with cervicogenic vertigo and Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS) that manifests as a constant rocking motion. The docuseries features nine vestibular patients who are learning to live with vestibular disorders. They explore parts of the human experience impacted by their diagnosis – mind, body, spirit, […]
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Are Support Groups Useful? VeDA Ambassador Erik Vanstrum has designed a support groups survey to gather information and help spread the word about how important finding a support system is for vestibular patients Six months ago, Erik suddenly woke up barely able to walk due to dizziness. Eventually diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, he is fortunate to be almost back to normal. This experience opened Erik’s eyes to the difficulties of living with vestibular illness and associated symptoms, like hearing loss. After experiencing firsthand how difficult living with vestibular illness can be, Erik was excited to use his unique position as a fourth-year medical student towards improving treatment and care for those with vestibular disorders. One of the first things he’d like to do is communicate to providers just how valuable support groups can be for patients. So, he’s designed a survey about vestibular support groups. Please consider taking Erik’s […]
What to look for in a group exercise class or personal trainer if you have dizziness issues If exercise were a medicine, everyone would be prescribed it. This is even more true for people with conditions that cause vertigo, dizziness and/or balance issues. An exercise routine can help you better manage stress and anxiety1, reduces the risk of dizzy episodes in certain disorders, and can help you recover from episodes when you have them2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Also, practicing good movement and becoming stronger can improve your general quality of life8. Finally, exercise plays an important role in helping you manage other health conditions, like diabetes, that could be contributing to your symptoms7. Getting started at the gym can be intimidating for anyone, but becoming more active after experiencing dizziness or vertigo can be extra challenging. Having the support of a personal training or group exercise class can provide […]
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Vertigo can be an extremely distressing symptom. The sudden onset of world-turning dizziness and the accompanying nausea, imbalance and loss of function can feel paralyzing and cause great concern. You’re not alone. In fact, nearly 40% of adults in the U.S. will experience vertigo at some point in their lives. Fortunately, most attacks are not due to serious medical conditions. And there is help available to understand why these symptoms occur and how to improve your condition. Here are some tips to help you deal with vertigo, when it happens. Seek Medical Help Get to an Acute Care Center or the Emergency Department for the following: If this is the first time you’ve experienced a vertigo attack If your symptoms of vertigo, nausea, vomiting are worsening If you have trouble with any of the following: Speaking or swallowing Double vision or loss of vision Loss of coordination of your hands, […]
Recently, VeDA Ambassador Glenn Schweitzer spoke about tinnitus on a podcast called Blurred Laws and Life, hosted by Richard Busch, a prominent lawyer in the music industry. What made this interview truly special is that Scott Schreer, an incredibly talented and successful musician, who is currently one of Glenn’s tinnitus coaching clients, came on the podcast with Glenn to share his story. Scott has had a long career in the music industry as a musician, composer, producer, and entrepreneur: He composed the music for the NFL, MLB, Nascar, UFC, just to name a few, as well as many other TV networks, movies, and shows. Scott is also founder and CEO of two successful technology companies: Tunesat and FreePlay Music. Scott’s story is a powerful one. He suffers from a severe case of tinnitus and kept it secret for most of his professional career. But he has been making great progress with habituation. His story is one that all […]
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The Barany Society and the Classification Committee of the Barany Society (CCBS) have created diagnostic criteria for Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS) with the goal of creating common terminology for diagnosis and research. These criteria will be included in the International Classification of Vestibular Disorders (ICVD). Vestibular disorders can be due to functional alterations within the central nervous system without a concurrent structural injury, so it is important to determine the differences between Mal de Débarquement Syndrome and other similar functional vestibular disorders. Mal de Débarquement Syndrome has appeared in the medical literature for over 300 years with individuals describing symptoms as non-spinning vertigo, dizziness, and imbalance after sea voyages. In March 2017, the CCBS introduced a format for developing criteria for Mal de Débarquement Syndrome. In June 2018, a committee of international specialists was formed and drafted criteria. The draft was presented to CCBS members in June 2019, and […]
By Kayla McCain, VeDA Ambassador While dizziness was definitely the symptom that changed my life as I knew it, light sensitivity and migraine aura wasn’t far behind it. For me, light sensitivity is often the first symptom to be aggravated, and it typically causes my “Alice in Wonderland” and dizziness to strike. Migraine is a strange disease, isn’t it? Symptoms related to the disease can also cause other ancillary symptoms – at least for me. The other night, I had such a bad attack while sitting on the couch, it reminded me of a story of when I first got sick that I’ve been meaning to tell. (This story may trigger you, so read with caution.) A ROAD TRIP DOWN A RABBIT HOLE It had been about two weeks since I first came down with symptoms of vestibular migraine. I was still learning about this disease and was trying to push […]
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