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Research Article Open Access
Dizziness and Imbalance are common following blast exposure. Vestibular dysfunction and visual disorders contribute to these symptoms complaints. Vestibular and balance rehabilitation therapy (VBRT) is often recommended to alleviate symptoms of dizziness and improve functional performance; however, it is uncertain if this is the most appropriate therapeutic method for soldiers with complaints of dizziness stemming from vision problems. Objectives: The purpose of this retrospective review was to investigate the benefit of VBRT for soldiers with symptoms of dizziness following blast exposure with and without documented vision problems. Materials and Methods: We compared performance on functional measures of the vestibular and balance system including dynamic visual acuity testing (DVA), gaze stabilization testing (GST), sensory organization test of computerized dynamic posturography (SOT), and the dizziness handicap inventory pre-post VBRT in 29 soldiers with (n = 21) and without vision disorders (n = 8) who also completed additional vestibular assessment including rotational chair and subjective visual vertical examination. Results: Soldiers with dizziness and vision disorders showed protracted recovery following VBRT and no change in perceived dizziness handicap after participation in VBRT. Conclusion: Additional therapeutic considerations, including coupling VBRT with specialized vision therapy may be beneficial for resolving symptoms and improving functional outcome.
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Author(s): Julie A Honaker Rachel Tomasek Kara Bean Bret Logan
blast injuries, rehabilitation, vestibular function tests