Vestibular disorders – VnExpress

Dizziness, spinning, loss of balance are common manifestations of vestibular disorders that many people encounter.

The main function of the vestibular system is to keep balance for the body when performing movements such as moving, turning, bending .., which is controlled by nerve groups located in the brain.

The periphery of the vestibular system is a part of the inner ear that acts as a miniature accelerometer and inertia guide device, which continuously reports information about head and muscle movements and positions. may reach integration centers located in the brain stem, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex.

Vestibular disorders are balance-related disorders arising from the 8th nerve and its connections. If this part is damaged, it will cause the transmission of information to be wrong and the body to lose balance, dizzy, dizzy, tinnitus …

Nerve 8 is a sensory nerve, consisting of two parts, each of which is responsible for its own sensory function. The cochlear nerve has a sensory function of hearing. The vestibular nerve has a sense of balance function. Nerve No. 8 originates from the pons, enters the stone bone through the hole of the inner ear canal, is the transmission line that controls the vestibular system to keep the body’s balance.

Classification and symptoms

The disease consists of two forms with different characteristic manifestations:

Peripheral vestibular disorders

TS.BS Le Van Tuan (specialist consultant of Department of Neurology, Tam Anh General Hospital) said that peripheral vestibular disorders are common in 90-95% of patients. There are many causes of peripheral vestibular disorders, the clinical manifestations vary depending on the cause, with the manifestation of transient dizziness, occurring only for a short time, appearing when changing posture such as shaking the head, from lying to sitting position. Patients may experience severe and persistent dizziness, inability to walk or change from lying down to sitting.

Dizziness is the most common symptom of vestibular disorders. Photo: Shutterstock

If the patient has a severe peripheral vestibular disorder, in addition to severe dizziness, there are accompanying symptoms. Symptoms such as severe and prolonged vomiting, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, heaviness in the head, difficulty concentrating, vasomotor disturbances that cause pale skin, decreased heart rate, sweating, more serious falls, concussion injury due to loss of balance control.

Central vestibular disorder

Often with manifestations of damage to the vestibular system of the central nervous system, patients have difficulty walking, when changing positions, they are dizzy, dizzy, sometimes accompanied by vomiting. This condition is caused by damage to the vestibular nucleus, damage to the connection of the vestibular nerve nuclei in the brain stem and cerebellum, which can be caused by cerebrovascular accident, inflammatory disease, or brain tumor. ..


Peripheral vestibular organ disorders due to causes: paroxysmal paroxysmal positional vertigo, vestibular neuritis, vestibular inflammation, Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, peripheral fistula, neuroma 8, horror otitis externa, acute otitis media…. Metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, uremia… also cause vestibular disorders.

The most common causes of central vestibular syndrome are migraine, brain infection, cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, trauma, brain tumor, and multiple sclerosis. In addition, there are a number of other causes of vestibular disorders such as age, excessive blood loss due to trauma, stress, excessive use of stimulants such as alcohol, beer …

Subjects at risk

Usually, this is a common disease in the elderly. However, the disease is increasingly younger, can occur at any age, is more common in adults with stressful jobs.

Pregnant women often experience morning sickness leading to loss of appetite, especially in the first 3 months. The body is not provided with enough nutrients, making pregnant women dizzy and lightheaded. Psychophysiological factors change, anxiety, fatigue also significantly affect the vestibular part, easily leading to vestibular disorder syndrome during pregnancy. Treatment during pregnancy must be prescribed by a doctor to avoid dangerous side effects or complications.

If not treated early, the disease can cause complications that directly affect the health and life of the patient such as depression, easy falls, stroke, stroke…

Vestibular disorders can cause complications such as stroke, stroke, and affect mobility.  Photo: Shutterstock

Vestibular disorders can cause complications such as stroke, stroke, and affect mobility. Photo: Shutterstock


Doctor Tuan added that the condition can be initially diagnosed based on the following signs:

Dizzy: Feeling of objects around spinning and often accompanied by symptoms of autonomic disorders such as nausea, sweating, fear of falling, especially discomfort.

Overbalance: Levels may be so strong that the patient cannot stand, which is common in the early stages of peripheral vestibular syndrome, or may be moderate, detected by laboratory tests such as Romberg’s sign, walking star…

Eyeball tremor: is an automatic movement of both eyeballs, characterized by a rhythmic, fairly regular appearance and a constant change of direction of alternating movement…

Depending on your medical condition, your doctor may ask you to perform some more laboratory tests to strengthen the basis of the diagnosis.


“Incorrect treatment or using the wrong medicine will waste money, effort and time while the condition can become worse and lead to many unpredictable complications,” said Doctor Tuan. .

Treatment includes: Treatment of the cause of vestibular disorders, symptomatic treatment of dizziness and vomiting, treatment of vestibular function.

Rehabilitation: Exercises to train the brain, stimulate the movement and sensitivity of the vestibular system are very effective in rehabilitation of the head, body and vision.

Sports practice: At a level appropriate to the health status, it will help the patient improve health, support the recovery of the vestibular system.

Maintain a healthy diet: significantly improve the health of the patient and limit the symptoms.

Using prescription drugs: Depending on the medical condition of each person, the doctor will give an appropriate plan in terms of time and dose of medication.

Surgery: When drugs and other therapies do not work, the patient needs surgery. Depending on the cause of vestibular disorders, the doctor will choose the appropriate surgical method to restore the function of the inner ear.

The duration of treatment completely depends on the classification, severity of the disease, the ability to respond to treatment measures. Therefore, when detecting the above symptoms, the patient needs to be examined early to determine the cause and timely treatment.


Vestibular dysfunction is a common disease that greatly affects health and quality of life. However, people can still avoid it by following these simple ways:

– Exercise regularly and reasonably.

– Reduce stress and anxiety.

– Avoid reading books while sitting in the car, so sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy.

– Drink enough water every day.

– Limit the use of stimulants such as beer, alcohol, tobacco…

– For people with vestibular disorders, caution should be exercised when operating the head and neck area.

– Do not turn your neck suddenly or change your standing position too quickly.

When there are signs of the disease, it is advisable to see a specialist for diagnosis and treatment under the guidance of a doctor.

Ngoc An


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