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Case Study: Balance and Joy on the Open Waters

Read Douglas’ story: How a comprehensive balance and vestibular care plan at angli-EAR Hearing transformed his life

Douglas* is a 62-year-old male who loves nothing more than going out on his boat and fishing with his friends.

A year ago, Douglas noticed some issues with his balance whilst out fishing, and ended up going to his GP who sent him for an MRI brain scan and referred him to a Neurologist for further opinion.

After seeing the Neurologist and undergoing several tests and investigations, Douglas was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Douglas had heard about some of the effects of Parkinson’s, so he was particularly concerned about his ability to maintain his independence and his quality of life as it develops.

Luckily, he was prescribed medication for his which helped relieve some symptoms, but Douglas started to notice his balance significantly deteriorating, and started experiencing problems with dizziness.

A natural assumption, he put this down to a progression of his Parkinson’s and was left feeling disheartened about how quickly his condition was worsening.

Wanting to be sure, Douglas attended our clinic for an Initial Vestibular and Balance Appointment. After a comprehensive assessment of his vestibular system with our Vestibular Physiotherapist, James, he was diagnosed with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

Alongside this life-changing diagnosis, Douglas left his appointment feeling educated and reassured with informational handouts about Parkinson’s Disease and BPPV, and was subsequently treated for the BPPV by James.

At the review appointment the following week, Douglas reported that his dizziness and balance had significantly dissipated. He reported that he had not had any vertigo since the initial treatment, and his BPPV had now resolved.

On reassessment, he still displayed some issues with balance and walking, likely due to a combination of his Parkinson’s and the BPPV, so he was given a vestibular rehabilitation home exercise programme to start that day.

Douglas was then reviewed for two additional appointments with James.

When asked, Douglas noted further improvements in his balance and mobility from the exercise programme. He hadn’t experienced vertigo since the initial treatment and felt confident about what to do should it return in the future.

Although Douglas recognised that there is no cure for his Parkinson’s at present, he did feel better about it. He had a deeper understanding of the condition and was aware that some of his symptoms can be effectively managed with a tailored treatment plan.

With some extra caution Douglas was able to return to fishing with his friends and that couldn’t have made him happier.**


*Name changed to maintain privacy of client.

**angli-EAR Hearing does not claim to be able to improve fishing ability or prowess.

Find out more about Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) here.