Friday, April 4, 2014

Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

So, I finally got my diagnosis as to why I've been so dizzy on a daily basis for almost 2 months now.  My ENT sent me for a test called an ENG which revealed a 28% unilateral vestibular weakness in my right ear. He's not exactly sure what caused it but thinks it was most likely a virus that attacked my inner ear. He encouraged me to continue with vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) and I'm in my third week of that therapy now.  

Update: I got a second opinion a while back and was diagnosed with uncompensated labyrinthitis (a form of unilateral vestibular weakness).  Truth be told though, she didn't really know for sure what I have. Apparently, I don't meet all the criteria for any vestibular disorder, so this was her best guess as its the category I most closely fall into to.  It's been over 2 months since this post and I continue to struggle with the dizziness, although it's getting better with my vestibular therapy!  I have days where I feel 80-90% better and days where I'm back in bed.  I'm plugging along though, patiently waiting for my healing from the Lord!  "For the vision [of my healing] is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, [I will] wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." (Habakkuk 2:3)

Update #2: I now believe I may suffer from Migraine Associated Vertigo. I don't know for sure, but it certainly sounds possible and given the fact that my doctor isn't sure what's causing my problem, I'm going to try the MAV diet as recommended in "Heal your Headache" by David Buchholz, MD.  For the fully story, I posted about this here

For those not familiar with vestibular rehabilitation (I certainly wasn't before having such issues!), it's like physical therapy for the balance system. It's a series of exercises that actually provoke my dizziness so the brain can compensate for the inner ear damage. I do a lot of exercises with my therapist that include balancing on one leg with my eyes closed (on both solid ground as well as balance foam), standing heel to toe with arms crossed and eyes closed, turning my head quickly from side to side and up and down while focusing on a letter on the wall, etc. It may not sound challenging but it is HARD! Because of my inner ear imbalance, my system relies heavily on my eye sight right now so any time I have to close my eyes I'm pretty much a fall waiting to happen. 

My homework includes walking up and down my hallway looking up/down, right/left, diagonal up/diagonal down, and even adding half turns into my walks.  Those are the worst!  I've avoided turning around as much as possible so having to force myself to do it has been difficult.  Now that I'm almost done with my third week of therapy, I do find that it's starting to help.  I no longer react as strongly to the exercises, meaning the dizziness doesn't get provoked as bad. The one move I still struggle with is those turns but I look forward to mastering those too. 

Now that I know the exact illness the Lord is going to heal me of (see His promise to me here), I will continue to walk by faith through my therapy exercises and in life, and wait on His perfect timing!

Has anyone else walked through vestibular therapy or suffered from vestibular dysfunction? I'd love to hear from you so we can encourage one another in the Lord!

For more information on Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy, see the link below:


  1. I suffered from this condition 2 years ago, and completely understand what you are going through. Trust me, it will get better.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Candy! That is very encouraging to me!! I'm so happy to hear you are feeling better.