Vestibular rehabilitation therapy at the balance disorder center is provided by Helen Cohen, Ed.D., OTR, FAOTA, an internationally recognized occupational therapist-vestibular physiologist and expert in vestibular and balance rehabilitation. Dr. Cohen will evaluate the patient and tailor exercises and/or therapy maneuvers for a specific inner ear disorder. Rehabilitation may require one or more visits from the patient.
What is vestibular rehabilitation?
- A non-invasive approach for patients with vestibular and balance disorders
- A systematic, individually designed regimen of exercises and activities that address the unique needs of individual patients
What are the justifications for referral?
- Positional vertigo
- Persistent vertigo
- History of falls
- Motion sensitivity
- Headache, stiff neck
- Visual motion disturbances
- Blurred vision
- Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces)
- Poor balance
What are the goals of therapy?
- Decrease frequency, intensity, and duration of vertigo
- Decrease related symptoms such as headache, nausea, and lightheadedness
- Improve balance
- Increase independence in daily life
- Develop compensatory strategies for coping with dizziness, disequilibrium, and anxiety
What are typical diagnoses?
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
- Vestibular neuronitis
- Chronic vestibulopathy
- Disequilibrium of aging
- Post-surgical imbalance
- Connective tissue disorders
- Bilateral vestibular weakness from ototoxicity
- Vertigo of unknown etiology
What does the evaluation assess?
- Level of vertigo or other dizziness
- Motions that stimulate vertigo
- Functional balance
- Mobility skills
- Musculoskeletal function
- Independence in basic self-care skills and other daily life tasks
What kind of rehabilitation is done?
- Exercises and activities to decrease vertigo
- Repositioning maneuvers and exercises for positional vertigo
- Balance retraining
- Counseling for safety equipment
- Safety training and other mobility skills
- Training in activities of daily living
How do I get a referral?
- Must have a written prescription for occupational therapy from a physician
- Physician should indicate diagnosis
- Center for Balance Disorders hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Therapy clinic days are Tuesdays and Thursday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Phone: (713) 798-6336
- Fax: (713) 798-8658