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Late response to Joanne Narna | @mothermary1

There IS a cure for vertigo: daily vestibular rehab therapy (VRT) exercises. I have Meniere's, have had serious vertigo for nearly 40 years, but it's not a problem as long as I do some VRT every day…not most days, EVERY day. As I've gotten older (I'm 79 now), I've lost some ability of my lower legs and feet to "tell" me what's underfoot, so I have to concentrate on exercises to make me more aware of that.

There are three balance systems. The primary one is your inner ears. When they fail, it's totally natural to depend upon vision for balance, but that's a really bad deal and means vertigo: every time you move around or even move your head, your focal point changes. That's what causes the vertigo: you have no stable focal point to rely on. So, you need to learn to use your third balance system, proprioception–the information you feet, knees, hips, etc. provide IF YOU LEARN TO LISTEN! The way to do that is to stand with your eyes closed, then graduate to walking in safe places, like a hallway or a person beside you, eyes closed. At first, do this in sock feet so that you have more contact with the floor. Later, add shoes, which make it harder to understand what your feet are telling you. When you walk a distance, like outside, do NOT look at the ground underfoot. Instead, check for obstacles within the next 10-20 feet, then look out at the view or up at the sky as you walk that distance. My current assignment from my VRT specialist is to walk a distance very day on our gravel road, eyes closed. I can tell when I'm close to the edge because there's far more loose gravel piled up along the sides of the road. I also walk the long distance of our gravel driveway with the traditional grass center: that's makes it easy to tell when you stray off the driveway (or off the grassy center strip if that's your preference).

The other thing to do is to walk in low light situations every day. Do NOT rely on night lights because that means you're using vision to balance. Walking outside, if there's not lots of ambient light, is good. I live where there are no streetlights, no glow in the sky from lots of lights, and all the surfaces are hilly, pocked with pocket gopher mounds. Great place to banish vertigo!

Even though I'm nearly 80, I still do instream surveys for our state fisheries agency, in a stream 20 miles from any cell reception, miles from where I park, entirely by myself. Every spring I install temperature monitors to track the temperatures of both the river and major tributaries all summer, removing them in the fall. One of them is placed in a waterfall (!!!) and requires crossing the river at a place where there's lots of current swirling around big boulders, hip deep–a real challenge. I clean my own gutters, am currently working on painting the exterior of the house. FWIW, challenging your vestibular system by working off a ladder will result in improved balance for at least two or three days. I hate cleaning gutters (who doesn't), but I plan a trip to wade a river a day or two afterwards to enjoy the increase in stability!

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Replies to "Late response to Joanne Narna | @mothermary1 There IS a cure for vertigo: daily vestibular rehab..."

Hello and thank you so much. I have never, not once in all these years of suffering ever been offered this. Can you tell me how to locate someone who does this please. It sounds like a specialty thing. I will try anything. I will research and hope to hear back from you. I know many fields have a speciality field. I see a physical therapist that only does pelvic floor disorders. I’m wondering if these specialist are tough to find. I’m looking. Many thanks,Joanne

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