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Technically, the vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If disease or injury damages these areas, vestibular disorders can result. Vestibular disorders can also occur for unknown reasons.
The most commonly diagnosed vestibular disorders include Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease and age-related dizziness and imbalance. Other problems related to vestibular dysfunction include migraine associated vertigo (MAV) and complications from autoimmune disorders and allergies. Vestibular disorders also include acoustic neuroma, known as a vestibular schwannoma.
Study estimates are that as many as 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States—approximately 69 million Americans—have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) says that approximately 615,000 individuals have been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in the United States. Another 45,500 are newly diagnosed each year. Also, one out of every 100,000 individuals per year develops an acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma).
A further 4% (8 million) of American adults report a chronic problem with balance, while an additional 1.1% (2.4 million) report a chronic problem with dizziness alone. Eighty percent of people aged 65 years and older have experienced dizziness, and BPPV, the most common vestibular disorder, is the cause of approximately 50% of dizziness in older people. Overall, vertigo from a vestibular problem accounts for a third of all dizziness and vertigo symptoms reported to health care professionals.
- Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA)
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
- Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA)
Last Updated on Oct 23, 2020