The cause of dizziness can arise from either a peripheral vestibular disorder or a central vestibular disorder. For the brain to correctly process balance, there must be appropriate information from three major sensory systems; vision, proprioception – touch senses and muscle spindles in the feet, trunk and spine and vestibular system.
The sensory information from these three systems is centrally processed within the brainstem. The integration and or feedback messages are sent to the eyes to help maintain steady vision and the muscles to help maintain posture and balance.
A healthy vestibular system is the most reliable system about spatial orientation. Often mixed signals from the vision and proprioception can usually be tolerated. An example of this adaptation occurs when sitting in a car at a railway crossing and seeing a passing train go by. This causes a sensation of drifting or moving. However failure of a vestibular system can be seen to be more problematic. This is because the vestibular system interacts with the other system and serves as a counter balance or correcting reference for other sensory balance information. Therefore failure of the vestibular system can not adjust moments of sensory difference resulting from inappropriate visual or proprioception information. This can often lead to symptoms such as dizziness.
Like many other serious medical disorders, a patient with a complaint of dizziness should be thoroughly assessed and examined with a physical examination. The practitioners at Port Macquarie’s Brainstorm have attained extensive post graduate training within the field of clinical neuroscience and are well positioned to deliver their specialised neurological rehabilitation programs.