Vestibular Hypofunction – As per experts, the disorder can affect either left or right side of the body or even both

The actor described how in this condition, the body balance might ‘just goes out of whack. He also said that he was pushing himself just too hard

The function of your ear is not limited to hearing alone but it does play a monumental role in maintaining your body balance. As kids, we have observed how after taking circles maybe after a dance or sitting on a swing, we might stop but our head does not. We can still feel dizzy after we stop the circular motion. It is interesting to note that it is the fluid inside your ear that makes you feel like that. What happens when your vestibular system starts to malfunction? You might lose balance and might feel dizzy often. The new generation actor Varun Dhawan recently opened up about his suffering from a similar vestibular disturbance, the condition has been generally called Vestibular hypofunction and can be caused by many reasons.

As per experts, the disorder can affect either left or right side of the body or even both. In technical terms, it can be unilateral or bilateral depending on which sides are affected. It might result in the affected person experiencing dizziness, postural instability, and sometimes even excessive sweating.

Dhawan gets emotional

Addressing a public event, Dhawan said that he had ‘shut down’ recently owing to a health condition called Vestibular hypofunction. The actor described how in the condition, the body balance might ‘just goes out of whack. He also said that he was pushing himself just too hard. Getting emotional about the situation, he said that everybody is running in a race and nobody is asking why. Dhawan believes that everybody is living for a greater reason. While he is trying to find him, he encouraged others to find theirs.

What happens in vestibular hypofunction?

Our ear is made of canals and these canals are filled with fluid. The position of the fluid changes with movement and the changed position is picked by the rich nerve endings that take the message to your brain. Hence your ear works in close collaboration with your brain to maintain balance when you are sitting or standing. When this connection gets disturbed, then a probable cause could be vestibular hypofunction. The most common causes behind it could be medicines, infections, poor circulation in the ear, deposition of calcium debris or traumatic brain injury or tumour affecting the functions of your inner ear.

Sometimes there might be an inner ear infection that might lead to inflammation of the deep ear structure called the labyrinth. This might lead to temporary vestibular hypofunction. Sometimes too much fluid can get filled in your inner ear as one sees in the condition Meniere’s disease where the person affected might experience sudden attacks of vertigo, dizziness, a ringing or buzzing sound in their ear and other symptoms. Sometimes it can be also a harmless tumour or certain drugs and medicines that might damage your vestibular function.

Common complaints of people suffering from vestibular hypofunction

Vestibular hypofunction can be caused by a multitude of reasons and many times the root cause is hard to identify. It could be viral infections, progressive disorders, autoimmune reactions and many others. However, some complaints can be common among people affected by these conditions. The following are some common symptoms-

  1. Feeling off-balance while sitting or standing
  2. Visual blurring during head movements
  3. Irregular and unpredictable head movements especially while walking
  4. Decreased activity due to fear of losing balance
  5. Falling or stumbling
  6. Changes in the heart’s rhythm
  7. Spatial disorientation
  8. Seeing spinning walls

What can you do to make it better

People affected by vestibular hypofunction whether unilateral or bilateral often have their physical activities limited by the condition. The following are some simple things you can do to make it better-

  1. Stabilize your gaze to improve coordination of head and eye movements
  2. Practice special balancing exercises
  3. Practice walking on uneven surfaces, in the dark and sometimes in crowded places.
  4. You can follow a simple exercise of bending your head from a sitting position to look down and then looking up and gazing the ceiling.

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