Physical therapy or vestibular rehabilitation can greatly benefit people who suffer from vertigo.

This is a customised exercise approach that is used to reduce the symptoms of dizziness, improve mobility and balance, return one to pre-dizziness levels of activity and improve quality of life.

Some of the exercises include:

  • Canalith-repositioning procedures: These comprise a series of specific head and upper body movements, to treat benign positional paroxysmal vertigo.

    Trained physiotherapists or physicians or audiologists can perform these moves to remove dislodged particles from the semicircular canals (vestibular organ) of the inner ear, said Dr Dawn Tan, a senior principal physiotherapist at Singapore General Hospital.

    The success rate for this treatment can be as high as 90 per cent, she said.

  • Gaze-stability exercises: These are for patients with vestibular dysfunction.

    The exercises involve head turns, with the eyes focusing on a stationary or moving visual target, which can help to decrease visual blurring during head movement, said Dr Tan.

  • Habituation exercises: Patients gradually and repeatedly increase their exposure to a stimulus which causes dizziness, such as turning their head horizontally. These exercises can help to reduce the intensity of dizziness experienced or motion sensitivity, Dr Tan said.