Bilateral Vestibular Failure

What is Bilateral Vestibular Failure?

Bilateral vestibular loss can be secondary to a number of different conditions however in most cases it has no known cause.

Symptoms of Bilateral Vestibular Failure

Reduction or loss of vestibular function bilaterally (on both sides) results in difficulty maintaining balance, especially when walking in the dark or on uneven surfaces, and in a decrease in the ability to see clearly during head movements. Patients also often complain of a sense of disequilibrium which is separate from the actual postural loss of balance.

Treatment of Bilateral Vestibular Failure

Vestibular rehabilitation for bilateral vestibular failure can improve balance, decrease the feeling of disequilibrium, and improve vision during head movements.  Treatment usually involves:

  • Exercises which are aimed at teaching the vestibular system alternative strategies to compensate for the lost function and at improving any remaining vestibular function.
  • Discussion of strategies to use in situations when balance is stressed.
  • Balance re-education exercises and gaze stabilisation exercises.