The use of exercises in the treatment of patients with vestibular deficits has become increasingly popular, and evidence exists that these exercises are beneficial in patients with chronic vestibular deficits. The question as to whether patients with acute unilateral vestibular loss would benefit from vestibular adaptation exercises is particularly compelling, however, because animal studies have demonstrated that the acute stage after unilateral vestibular loss is a critical period for recovery. Deprivation of visuomotor experience during that period can delay the onset of recovery as well as prolong the recovery period. Patients often avoid movement during the early stage because, with movement, they experience an increase in dysequilibrium and nausea. We examined the recovery of postural stability in patients during the acute stage after resection of acoustic neuroma to determine whether vestibular adaptation exercises facilitate the onset of recovery and improve the rate of recovery. The results suggest that vestibular adaptation exercises result in improved postural stability and in a diminished perception of dysequilibrium.
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