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Old 10-09-2006, 12:09 PM   #7
billybignose billybignose is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Gloucestershire, UK
Posts: 78
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Re: bilateral vestibulopathy

Get awey from the ENTs they are talking garbage and aren't qualified to talk to you about your condition. ENTs only spend a day or so in training looking at the inner ear and never usually bother keeping up with it. You really need to see a neurOTOlogist (not a neurologist), who is a specialist in the inner ear and connections to the brain.

Did they say whats causing "bilateral vestibulopathy", as that's the symptom (or end result) not a disease or process. "Bilateral" meaning both sides, and "vestibulopathy" meaning dysfunction of the balance system (vestibular apparatus), do not confuse it with "complete bilateral vestibular loss" as thats complete loss of function on both sides, and outside the setting of intraveinus ototoxic drugs it is exceedingly rare (incidently that doesn't cause dizziness). However, bilateral vestibulopathy is quite unusual and cannot be detected with an ENG/Caloric machine (because "a response to stimulus" result doesn't mean much, and engs work by comparing one side to the other, so it can't tell you if you are having problems on both sides, it's comparitive), and even on rotation chair testing it's not always too apparent. Did they run a complete battery of tests (including rotation chair?), I wonder if they have looked at one of your symptoms (oscillopsia - bouncing vision) which is more commonly associated with bilateral problems and used that to make the diagnosis, even though it's very very common in unilateral patient as well. What were you results (or what did they say based on the test results)?

What "come and relax" was trying to explain, was that when your vestibular system gets damaged it has little propensity to heal itself, so on a physilogical level that damage is permenant. However, you recover through a process called compensation, this is where the brain learns to adapt and interpret the signals from the vestibular system (and your eyes, and skin) in a different way. This process takes a few months for the majority of people, and once complete it leaves them symptom free. For some it takes longer, and for others it won't happen at all (or only very slowly) without the help of VRT (vestibular rehabilitation therapy), which is a form of PT designed to help speed up the process of helping the brain habituate and adapt. This is a whole specialism in PT, with qualifications, and certifide practicioners (only use a certifide one if you can), who train for years to become experts in this subject. Your ENT couldn't have been listening in class as the Cawthorne Cooksey exercises have be used as VRT since the early 1900s, but in the last 30 years "custom" programs have been shown (in hundreds of published studies) to be more effective. Do a search on the web for "vestibular compensation" and you'll find some better descriptions...

Last edited by billybignose; 10-09-2006 at 12:13 PM.

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