Treating Vestibular Neuronitis with Rehabilitation and Medication

Vestibular neuronitis is a disorienting experience that is characterised by sudden and severe vertigo. This inner ear disorder disrupts the delicate balance system that helps us navigate our day to day lives. At PMC Physiotherapy, our expert team of chartered physiotherapists offer a comprehensive vestibular rehabilitation program designed to address and alleviate the challenges associated with vestibular disorders. Our approach is a blend of therapy and supportive care, ensuring that each patient receives a personalised treatment plan aimed at enhancing their stability and overall quality of life. In this blog we explore the latest research on the effects of combining vestibular rehabilitation training with anti-vertigo medications to enhance treatment outcomes for vestibular neuronitis.

Balance and Vertigo

Vestibular neuronitis is one of the most common disorders that affect the inner ear. It is caused by inflammation of the vestibular nerve located in the inner ear. It is a unilateral disorder, meaning that it occurs on one side and this leads to an imbalance in the vestibular system. Because one side is affected, that side is unable to send the brain the information it needs to keep a person’s balance and ability to coordinate head and eye movements.

Symptom Onset

Someone suffering from vestibular neuronitis will have an acute onset of symptoms that will last for more than 24 hours. The symptoms that patients usually describe include vertigo, nausea, vomiting and loss of balance. These acute symptoms usually resolve after a few weeks but for some, they persist and seriously compromise the patient’s quality of life. So it is really important that anyone suffering from vestibular neuronitis receives the best course of treatment for their symptoms.

Vestibular Neuronitis

Research Insights

Research published in 2023 sought to analyse a number of studies to investigate the efficacy and safety of vestibular rehabilitation therapy combined with anti-vertigo drugs in the treatment of vestibular neuronitis.

Therapy Overview

Treatment of vestibular neuronitis is broadly divided into drug therapy and non-drug therapy. Non-drug therapy includes vestibular rehabilitation training. This is an exercise-based treatment that promotes the inner ear to compensate for the loss of function associated with vestibular neuronitis. This is done by performing exercises that stimulate the inner ear.

Medicinal Approaches

Medications include steroids, antihistamines, histamines, endogenous coenzyme b12 and alkaline drugs. These drugs work by reducing the inflammation associated with vestibular neuronitis. Some of these drugs can delay the establishment of compensation of vestibular function and so cannot be used for a long period of time. Adverse effects of drug therapy include indigestion, mood swings, high blood sugar and stomach ulcers with bleeding.

Treatment Benefits

This study found that vestibular rehabilitation therapy combined with appropriate anti-vertigo drugs can improve vertigo and balance function in vestibular neuritis patients. The combined therapy can enhance vestibular nerve and muscle function and reduce the impact of vertigo on daily activities and improve the quality of life of patients. It also found that combination treatment had fewer adverse effects.

PMC Physio Recommendation

If you have recently experienced a vestibular event such as a viral infection of the inner ear or your are concerned about poor balance, contact one of our physios at PMC Physiotherapy Dunboyne and get it checked out.

Effects of vestibular rehabilitation training combined with anti-vertigo drugs on vertigo and balance function in patients with vestibular neuronitis Chen et al, 2023


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