When a child presents with vestibular disorder symptoms, it can easily be missed, overlooked or misunderstood. For example, we may dismiss the signs and symptoms by thinking the child is just simply genetically uncoordinated. Since children affected with vestibular disorder often do not know that how they feel is different or know how to describe how they are feeling, they may not verbalize any red flags. These and many other reasons make the diagnosis for congenital balance deficiencies harder to pin down.
We will not always know exactly why a child presents with vestibular disorders. Some are unknown congenital reasons from birth. Many are from early childhood and infant medical trauma, and others may be accidents and sports related injuries.
Signs and symptoms of vestibular disorders are many and various. Some of the more common signs are:
Dizziness, spinning or whirling sensations
Lightheadedness, rocking sensations
Sensation of being pulled in one direction or weighted
Inability to see and feel appropriate space boundaries (Ex: standing too close to a stranger in a line).
Difficulty in various motor skills
Falling (may look like the child is “play” falling, but in reality, they feel the need to fall for balance).
Uneasy walking or running on uneven ground, stumbling
The need to be holding or touching walls or other objects for balance when standing
Trouble tracking objects with the eyes
Trouble with transitions or crowds
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Sensitivity to certain environments and loud noises
Inability to focus
Nausea even to the point of vomiting
At Elite Physical Therapy and Balance Center, we specialize in both adult and pediatric balance. Our therapists work with patients doing exercises that train the body back to equilibrium. Our team also has specialized equipment used to train the brain and body, such as the Biodex machine that allows children and teens to train using video games. We make it our goal, whether using the machines or exercises, to make therapy fun and engaging so our pediatric patients do not notice the time going by. Each plan is a customized to the individual for both in clinic visits and at home exercises.
To set an appointment for an evaluation by our balance experts, click here: