Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) for Unilateral Vestibular Loss
This page is intended to be a reference for physical therapists
who are providing physical therapy.
Timothy C. Hain,
Page last modified:
July 10, 2021
VRT has been generally shown to be helpful in recovery from unilateral loss, such as for vestibular neuritis or acoustic neuroma (Strupp et al. 1998; Herdman et al. 2003; Krebs et al. 2003; Badke et al. 2004; Cohen et al. 2004; Topuz et al. 2004; Hall et al, 2004; Enticott et al, 2005). An extensive metanalysis was done by the Cochrane Library in 2011, who concluded that VRT is effective for unilateral vestibular damage (Hillier and McDonnell, 2011). This entire document is available online. "https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD005397/frame.html"
Recent improvements to the process is to use the "VHIT" test to assess the degree to which compensation has occured. (Blodrow et al, 2014)
The following protocol is loosely based on Tee et al, 2005;
Goals of VRT
- Increase gaze stability
- Reduce dizziness
- improve postural and gait stability
- improve independence in activities of daily living such as driving and shopping
- Increase cardiovascular conditioning
Persons with unilateral vestibular loss will generally improve by themselves given sufficient time, but the process can be sped up by VRT.
Also see the main page on VRT and Prehab VRT.
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