If you notice that your child has poor balance, gaze instability or complains of dizziness, it is time for a pediatric vestibular assessment. The vestibular system is responsible for balance and coordination. Your vestibular system processes movement. When functioning correctly, you aren’t dizzy and can move around with ease. Vestibular dysfunction symptoms include vision changes, hearing disturbances, imbalance, dizziness, and vertigo.
The Children’s Vestibular Disorder Association
The Children’s Vestibular Disorder Association or VEDA, is designed to help people struggling with a vestibular disorder by offering support and guidance when it comes to treatment. Medication for vestibular disorder can help, as can vestibular therapy to address inner ear problems. Your child will need to be assessed by a vestibular specialist, and then treatment with a therapist can begin. Infinite Therapy Solutions provides treatment for vestibular disorders either in the home or in one of our two clinics.
The Basics of a Pediatric Vestibular Assessment
You can expect to answer a number of questions about your child’s balance, coordination, hearing, and vision during an assessment. A vestibular specialist will test your child’s balance using a number of techniques. Your child may be asked to stand with both or one eye closed. The assessment looks for the reasons behind your child’s dizziness or imbalance and will help pinpoint what is causing the symptoms.
Understanding Vestibular Dysfunction Symptoms
Adults can explain the feeling of vertigo, or let you know when they are having visual disturbances. Your child may not be so good at describing their feelings. Vestibular dysfunction symptoms include dizziness, ringing in the ears, problems with vision and balance issues. You may notice that your child falls frequently, or has terrible coordination when trying to perform an activity. If your child complains of being dizzy or is unusually clumsy, they may have an inner ear problem that needs to be managed.
Medication for Vestibular Disorder
Treatment for a vestibular disorder can be in the form of medication, such as meclizine, lorazepam, and antihistamines, and also vestibular therapy. Medication is from three basic classes of drugs, those that suppress the vestibular system, provide histamine relief, and benzodiazepines. Your treatment provider will talk to you about the benefits and drawbacks of using medication for vestibular disorder with your child.
Therapy to Address Balance Issues
Vestibular therapy with a trained therapist will help your child improve their balancing strategies. Balance is more than just your inner ear. Hearing, sight, muscles, and joints all impact balance. When your child works with a therapist on strengthening and neuromuscular reeducation, you will begin to see progress in your child’s abilities. You will be taught ways to help your child continue their progress between sessions. As your child becomes more independent, they are going to feel less frustrated and anxious.
Vestibular therapy benefits your child in a number of ways, to include:
- Better balance and less frustration when trying to walk, run or play.
- Less overall dizziness.
- Less susceptible to motion sickness.
- Improved body control.
Once the cause of your child’s vestibular disorder is uncovered, your therapist will develop a treatment plan that is right for your child. Together you will work to help your child improve their skills, and gain independence. With vestibular therapy and possibly medication, your child will get the treatment they need to improve the quality of their life.
To learn more about vestibular dysfunction symptoms and get treatment for your child, contact Infinite Therapy Solutions in Bayonne at 201-455-3144 or in West Orange, NJ at 973-939-6280. We will be happy to set up an initial consultation to get your child ready for treatment.