Vestibular Rehab & Oculomotor Therapy
Vestibular therapy is a type of rehabilitation that is used to treat vestibular disorders, which are conditions that affect the inner ear and the vestibular system. The vestibular system is responsible for helping us maintain balance and coordinate movement, and vestibular disorders can cause symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, and difficulty with balance and coordination.
Vestibular therapy typically involves a series of exercises that are designed to help the brain adapt to the changes in the vestibular system and improve balance and coordination. These exercises may include:
Gaze stabilization exercises: These exercises help to improve the brain's ability to fixate on objects while the head is moving.
Balance exercises: These exercises help to improve the brain's ability to sense and maintain balance.
Gait and mobility exercises: These exercises help to improve the brain's ability to coordinate movement and maintain balance while walking or moving around.
Habituation exercises: These exercises help the brain to become accustomed to the sensations of dizziness and vertigo.
Vestibular therapy may be performed in a therapist's office or at home, and it is often combined with other types of therapy to help improve overall function and mobility. Vestibular therapy and oculomotor therapy are generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment option for people with vestibular disorders, and it can help to improve symptoms and quality of life
Oculomotor therapy and vestibular rehab are used in conjunction in most situations as the vestibular (balance), eye movement and sensory systems within the body cannot be separated.
Visual or oculomotor impairments and balance issues are common after traumatic brain injury (TBI). They are also pervasive and common in other neurologic conditions. The oculomotor system is represented in all brain lobes, making eye movements easily impaired as a result of TBI, often when eye movements are dysfunctional, dizziness can be affected. Eye movements include pursuits, saccades, vestibular ocular reflex, convergence, and fixations. Oculomotor impairments can negatively affect activities of daily living such as reading, computing, and community participation.
Oculomotor therapy typically involves specific exercises that are designed to improve eye movements and coordination. These exercises may include tracking an object with the eyes, following a moving object, or moving the eyes in different directions. The therapy may also involve the use of eye patches, prisms, and other visual aids to help improve visual function. We often use this conjunction with vestibular therapy.
Oculomotor therapy can be an effective treatment for many individuals with conditions that affect eye movements. It can help improve visual acuity, eye alignment, and the ability to fixate on objects, which can improve overall vision and quality of life.