Ask an Expert Q&A's
Some of BC Balance and Dizziness's most popular meetings include question and answer sessions facilitated by health professionals who are particularly knowledgeable about balance and dizziness issues. On this page, browse a selection of our questions and answers. Want to submit a question to our experts? Click here! (Please make sure you check this Q&A page for answers before submitting a question. We might have already covered your question!)
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Vision is an essential part of the balance system. It works with the inner ear sensors for balance, the proprioceptors (sensation of touch) and the brain to keep us balanced. Any vision problems can negatively affect your balance and should, therefore, be addressed as much as possible. In general, the vision improvement after a successful cataract surgery has a positive impact on balance and quality of life.
It is great that you notice that you are hyperventilating. From that awareness, you can try voluntarily changing your breathing pattern. Slowing down, holding your breath in for at least three seconds improves your oxygenation. Another conscious effort you can make is to breathe deep into your belly. Place your hand on your abdomen and feel it expanding as you breathe in and contract as you breathe out.
Why do I feel dizzy on the computer and why is my balance better when I wear a weighted vest or carry heavy things?
The balance system is complex and in fact involves 3 major sensory input systems, all controlled by the brain. The inner ear sensors for balance, eyes and the proprioceptors on the body all send information to the brain. Balance centres receive, analyze and integrate these bits of information and then send orders to the body to readjust according to the movement done in the first place.
When you are dizzy with computer use, it usually means that the balance system is relying more heavily on the visual input. It is not fully reassured by the inner ear sensors telling them you are not moving. You can read more about it here: https://balanceanddizziness.org/do-you-get-headaches-or-motion-sickness-from-playing-computer-games/
Having the weights on you or changing your posture as you walk is increasing the cues coming from the proprioceptive system to the brain. This additional input seems to help you balance.
I would recommend you to have your inner ear sensors tested. It might be that they are working just fine but your centres in the brain are not using their information properly or it might be that your brain is in need of all this additional information (visual and proprioception) because your inner ear sensors are dysfunctional.
It is very common to have dizziness triggered by watching things move, as opposed to moving oneself. Many people feel dizzy in busy visual environments, such as browsing in a crowded grocery store, at busy intersections, or even seeing someone carrying a boldly striped bag. This problem, referred to by British researchers as visual vertigo, is caused by your brain not being able to match up the information coming from your eyes, your inner ear and the proprioception sensors on your joints. When you watch a 3-D movie, your eyes follow things around as if you were actually moving. If your brain is hard-wired to believe your eyes more than your inner ear or body, the message from your eyes will dominate and you’ll feel dizzy.
A treatment for visually-stimulated vertigo consists of watching things in motion. Audiologist Erica Zaia suggests repeatedly watching full-screen versions of the NED Leader (right and left) video clips on YouTube. When you get the feeling that you want to look away, watch for three to five seconds longer. Becoming accustomed to doing the tai chi “cloud hands” movement follows the same principle; it habituates your brain to the movement of your hands.
Below are some optokinetic videos.
Once you are used to these, try this one:
The following playlists compile complex exercises:
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