It leaves you feeling utterly helpless, that dizzy feeling, the nausea, the the ringing in your ears, the sudden feeling of the room spinning. Does any of that sound familiar? If you suffer from vertigo or imbalance, the constant threat of another bout striking at the most inopportune moments can be a source of great anxiety. Thankfully you can do something to help yourself. You won’t need any special equipment and you can do it at home.
The Cawthorne-Cooksey exercises range from simple to more complicated and with practice can improve your symptoms.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to do them. Let’s start with the simple stuff:
When you’re in bed
Move your eyes up and down, from side to side and then focus on your finger as you move it from 3 feet to 1 foot away from your face. Now focus on your head. Move you head forward and backward, then turn it side to side. Now try it with your eyes closed. For each of these exercises, start out slow and then speed up.
When you’re sitting
Try those bed exercises while sitting. Now move onto your shoulders, shrug them and move them in a circular motion. Lastly, bend forward and pick up objects from the ground.
When you’re standing
Do the bed and sitting exercises, as above, while standing. Now try going from sitting to standing with your eyes open and then closed. Throw a small ball, above eye level, from one hand to the next. Now it gets a bit more complicated throw a small ball from hand to hand under the knee. And finally go from sitting to standing but turn around in between.
When you’re in a supervised class
Circle around a person who will throw a ball to you and then throw the ball back. For the next lot of exercises supervision is key to avoid accidents. Try each of the below exercises first with your eyes open and then with your eyes closed:
- walk across the room
- walk up and down a slope
- walk up and down a few steps.
Finally, bringing together all the exercises you have practiced, take part in any game where you will need to stoop, stretch and aim. Why not get a few friends together for some bowling or a game of basketball?
Doing these exercises will improve your vertigo and imbalance but it is vital that you also seek professional help. Your symptoms could be a sign of a problem with a part of your ear called the vestibular system. At SLENT, we can help you get to the bottom of your imbalance problems with a balance evaluation. Don’t delay, book your balance evaluation today.
Dr. JJ Martinez served active duty in the United States Marine Corps before receiving his bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2005 and his doctoral degree from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2010. He completed internships at North Oaks Hospital, Tulane University Hospital, and several audiology practices in the greater New Orleans area as well as a year long externship with a private practice in Hammond, LA. Dr. Martinez is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and a member of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.