After thirty years of living with debilitating motion-related nausea, Victoria was finally able to overcome her illness thanks to the Fyzical Dizziness & Fall Prevention Center at The Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery Associates Winter Park location.
“The biggest benefit I had from Fyzical is getting off medications I’ve been on for over 30 years,” says Victoria. “The program helped with my nausea from motion sickness and problems that I’ve been having with my inner ear. After finishing this program, which I completed several months ago, I have never taken even one pill. After 30 some years, that’s pretty amazing not to have to do that any longer.”
What Is a Balance Disorder?
A balance disorder is a condition that causes unsteadiness or dizziness when standing, sitting, or lying down. Patients feel like they are moving, spinning, floating, or suddenly tipping over when walking. Balance disorders can be caused by certain health conditions, medications, or a problem in the inner ear or the brain.
A balance disorder can severely hinder a person’s ability to perform daily activities and cause psychological and emotional hardship. Often, it leads to increased social isolation, loss of independence, and depression.
The term “dizziness” can mean different things to different people. For one person, dizziness might mean a fleeting feeling of faintness, while for another, it could be an intense sensation of spinning (vertigo) that lasts a long time.
Almost 65 million people in the U.S. are estimated to be at risk of a fall, half of those due to balance or dizziness issues. Most of those individuals are over sixty-five years of age. One in five older people who fall never recover. Victoria’s dizziness and nausea were so bad she could barely function at home and work.
Victoria couldn’t do anything motion-related without the onset of nausea and her condition progressively worsened. “One day, when I was working, I tried to stand up, and I couldn’t. It took almost an hour, plus taking a pill before I could finally stand up,” says Victoria. “It was getting worse, and the nausea was continually progressing. It seemed like I was having more bouts of it than I had had before. Even doing minor things, anything that had to do with any motion would make me sick all the time.”
How Can the Fyzical Dizziness and Fall Prevention Center Help?
The Fyzical Dizziness & Fall Prevention Center is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art therapy and balance center with specialized staff, equipment, and training protocols to treat vestibular balance disorders for patients of all ages and lifestyles.
The center is located within The Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery Associates’ Winter Park facility creating a unique synergy between audiology, physical therapy, and otolaryngology. The center was designed to address, to evaluate, and to treat balance disorders. Patients benefit from the treatment to overcome their dizziness and falls without having to drive to multiple locations for various services.
Unlike some other centers that look uniquely at reactive treatments after the falls have happened, the Fyzical Dizziness & Fall Prevention Center aims to treat the causes of a fall and prevent future balance issues from arising. Through diagnostic testing balance deficiencies or weaknesses can be identified and addressed before a future injury occurs.
“I was blown away by how big of a difference that I saw, just after a couple of weeks,” says Victoria. “I was able to do the exercises much better. Now I feel so much better about myself. Since completing the program, I have not had any issues at all with nausea or anything.”
“When I first started the exercises they gave me to do at home, I couldn’t even do them for the first few minutes without having to go lay down on the sofa. It took me a long time to finish the sessions they prescribed for me. In the end, I could do all the sessions without any problems or nausea at all. I’ve continued to do (the exercises) once a week because I feel like that’s going to be beneficial to me.”
Personalized Treatment Plans
The sources and causes of dizziness and balance issues are unique for every individual. More often than not, a combination of factors contributes to the problem, including:
- Inner ear
- Eye issues
- Spinal challenges
- Joint problems
Once a patient’s unique challenges are diagnosed, a treatment plan is designed to enhance their daily functioning, decrease the risk of falling, and improve quality of life. The Fyzical Dizziness & Fall Prevention Center has clinical protocols and treatment strategies that have been streamlined to offer people the best chance at not just fall prevention but at regaining their independence.
“Everybody that I’ve worked with here has been great,” says Victoria. “Minal (my therapist) has been wonderful. When I was having an issue, she listened to what I had to say. She pushed me. She didn’t just let me get by with oh, this is tough. No, we’re just going to do this. She gave me tips and things to do at home. That, for me, is going to be a lifelong practice. I never did the same two sessions a day when I was here, and once I went home, I discovered that I could still do the exercises. I bought a yoga mat that I use at home. I believe it’s going to continue to help me.”
Victoria is grateful for successfully reclaiming her independence and quality of life and is happy she stuck with the Fyzical Dizziness & Fall Prevention Center program. “As skeptical as I was, it ended up being one of the best things that were recommended to me,” she says. “I’m glad I did it absolutely.”