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March 25, 2017

Vestibular hypersensitivity

Dear readers, welcome to the new article about one of sensory processing disorders. We explained in one of the previous articles called Senses, that we actually have 7 basic senses instead of just 5 and that one of them is vestibular system. It’s located in an inner ear and we perceive the position of our head, equilibrium and movement because of it. It also allows us changing our position in the gravity field appropriately. If our brain doesn’t process information from the vestibular sense properly, we may develop vestibular hypersensitivity, the disorder we are going to speak about today.

Let's look at basic symptoms to understand it better.

The condition is characterized by over sensitivity to above mentioned movement, equilibrium and position in the gravity field. Then it manifests itself in the following symptoms. Movements can easily overwhelm us. Therefore we prefer sedentary tasks, we move slowly with caution and we avoid risk taking. We are often afraid of falling as well, especially on uneven surfaces. We usually don’t like elevators and escalators because their motion can easily make us sick or fearful. We can be afraid from going up or down stairs so we usually hold the handrail while walking. Heights can make us fearful as well. We also resist rotating or rapid movements. We are usually sick while boating, riding a car and during similar activities. We may appear unsure in the movement or clumsy for other people too. We are very unsatisfied when somebody bump into us or move a chair we are sitting at. We have usually certain difficulties learning how to ride a bike as well as troubles keeping balance while staying on one food or while jumping. These activities can be also frightening for us. Like children, we usually dislike swings or merry-go-rounds because of motion sickness. We also don’t prefer activities which require good balance. Finally, we can’t stand being tipped upside down or in other direction as well.

We have just introduced the main signs of vestibular hypersensitivity. Have you recognized them in yourself? If so, then you most likely suffer from this disorder. Now it’s time to come up with some coping strategies to provide advice how to deal with this condition. Let’s try to get used to motion slowly. We can for example spin on the chair as fast as we need or walk, optionally run, frequently. Learn as well how to keep balance by trying and trying. Don’t hesitate to avoid activities which make us really sick. If we are dizzy from a ride in a car or other means of transport, take a pill to reduce the sickness.

I’m not exactly sure if I suffer from this disorder or not. Even though I exhibit some symptoms, I think I don’t have this condition and there’s another reason, like dyspraxia, for it. However, if you are affected by this disorder, never hesitate to use your own coping strategies to make yourself feel better!

Do you think you may have vestibular hypersensitivity? Do you know somebody with this condition? Would you like to ask some questions? Write us in the comment section bellow. We are here for you!

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