Case Report Vestibular Rehabilitation Decreases Fall Risk and Improves Gaze Stability for an Older Individual with Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction


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Abstract

Background and Purpose:Partial or total unilateral vestibular loss is the third most common cause of peripheral vestibular dysfunction. Dysfunction of one or both of the vestibular mechanisms can manifest physically as abnormalities of posture, balance, and/or visual acuity. This case report describes physical therapy examination and individualized intervention with vestibular rehabilitation for a patient with unilateral vestibular hypofunction.Case Description:The patient was an 80-year-old male with electronystamographically confirmed unilateral vestibular loss of 98.3%. He demonstrated altered balance and gaze stability classifying him as having an increased riskforfalling.Outcomes:After 5 weeks of individualized vestibular rehabilitation, the patient significantly decreased his fall risk from 11 to 20 of 24 on the Dynamic Gait Index. His gaze stability also improved from a 4 to 1 line disparity with dynamic visual acuity testing. The patient also had a decrease in perceived disability on the Dizziness Handicap Inventory from 30/100 at evaluation to 12/100 at discharge.Conclusion:Individualized vestibular rehabilitation decreased fall risk and improved gaze stability for a patient with significant unilateral vestibular hypofunction.

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