Dizziness, vertigo and fear – when the psyche loses its hold

The whole world turns suddenly, the ground sways and you seem to lose your footing. Dizziness and vertigo often feel very threatening to those affected and causes strong feelings of anxiety. And even if the vertigo has subsided again, this fear often remains.

Usually, fear is intended to warn of impending dangers and is triggered by the release of certain messenger substances in the brain. So anxiety is part of a general stress response of the body and is associated with a rise in blood pressure and pulse, dry mouth and with strong internal tension. However, this often causes dizziness and vertigo, as if the ground under one’s feet were pulled away and one loses his grip. There is even a separate diagnosis for this anxiety-related dizziness: phobic dizziness.

Dizziness is so scary and fear leads to dizziness. A classic vicious circle that does not always make it easy to break free. In addition to treating the cause of dizziness, the fight against anxiety also plays an important role.

Fear arises above all when one has no opportunity to influence the events and feels victim of his illness. The first step is therefore the detailed explanation: Only if one knows as much as possible about his illness, one can deal rationally with its complaints and influence it positively. The second step is the earliest possible movement: A posture to avoid the dizziness worsens it increasingly and leads to ever new fears, while active movement trains the balance systems in the body and the complaints improved sustainably. A targeted vertigo or balance training can be very helpful here.

If these simple measures are not enough, behavioral therapy may be required. In the process, one learns to recognize the subconscious attitudes and behaviors that lead to fear and dizziness, and gradually to replace them with useful ones.

Information on other types of dizziness and treatment options can be found here.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT specialist)


Seniority vertigo: counter fall risks with vertigo training

From the age of 70, seniority vertigo and with it the risk of falling increases with every other year of life. The causes for this are manifold: visual and hearing disorders, degradation processes in the brain, a weakness of the musculoskeletal system and cardiovascular diseases add up and can bring one in the truest sense of the word out of balance. Since aging processes and many cases can not be completely avoided, the provision of old age precautions plays a particularly important role.

Keep moving!

In particular, regular exercise helps to balance and improve walking safety. Extensive scientific studies have shown that exercise supports almost all physical and mental functions and can partially halt aging processes. Exercise strengthens the muscles and the cardiovascular system and promotes the interaction of the organs involved in the sense of balance. Subjective dizziness and balance disorders can be improved.

Good things improved: dizziness training with biofeedback

Even more effective is vertigo and balance training in the form of a modern biofeedback process in countering seniority vertigo. This allows targeted training of the sense of balance and coordination and minimizes the risk of falling sustainably. Through an acoustic feedback via a headphone, for example, in the case of the dreamer trainer EQUIVert, the practitioner is notified of any body fluctuation and thereby learns to stabilize himself. In a customized training program, the level of difficulty is increased step by step and it shows usually after a few practice sessions significant improvements.

Autor: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT specialist)


EQUIVert presentation on the Innovation Day of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Information “(BMWi) invites GED to present its new vertigo training system EQUIVert at the Innovation Day SME.

The traditional exhibition, in which the project partners GED, Fraunhofer IMS and the University of Duisburg-Essen jointly present their innovative biofeedback system for the treatment of vertigo, will mark its 25th anniversary in 2018.

More than 300 innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutions and cooperation networks from all over Germany will meet on the outdoor area of AiF Projekt GmbH in Berlin-Pankow. They will present new products, processes and services whose development has been financially supported by the BMWi.

Further information on the development of EQUIVert can be found here.

Additional information can be found on the website of the AiF Projekt GmbH.

Date: 7. Juni 2018, 10:00 bis 16:00
location: FOpen-Air area of the AiF Projekt GmbH, Tschaikowskistr. 49, 13156 Berlin

Free entry | No previous registration is required


EQUIFit: Rebalance yourself

Vertigo training with biofeedback is one of the most effective methods for vertigo and dizziness complaints of all kinds to get back into balance. The position of the patient in space is measured by the devices and reflected back to the brain via a sensory channel as information. This information connects the brain with the signals from the body’s own measurement systems, and over time learns to rebalance without this information.

The devices on the market for biofeedback training differ considerably in terms of the measurement of the body position, the sense channel of the information reflected back and the practical handling of the training.

Devices that are similar to the organ of equilibrium and that measure body position in the head area and not, for example, in the upper body area are to be preferred. As a sensory channel for the reflected-back information, vision is less suitable than hearing, because the visual process itself, which is part of normal balance regulation, stabilizes it and thus makes training much less effective. Hearing, on the other hand, provides optimal spatial orientation without taking over the regulation of equilibrium and thus also allows dizziness training with closed eyes.

EQUIFit acoustic biofeedback

Based on these considerations, the vertigo trainer EQUIFit was developed, which uses a comfortable headphone to measure the deviation of the head and body and transmits it acoustically to the brain. Similar to a parking aid, acoustic signals indicate the direction and extent of the sway and allow targeted correction of posture. A structured exercise program leads you individually through the different levels of the training. Exercises while standing, walking and on different surfaces allow a gradual increase in the level of difficulty. The device detects when a level rise is safely possible and conveniently, the instructions are also given the same over the headphones, so that a tedious reading in training instructions deleted.

For the first time, EQUIFit also offers a biofeedback device for dizziness and vertigo training that can be conveniently used at home. The previous procedures were usually available only in specialized clinics and practices, which has a daily, continuous training, as required for a quick success, has made very difficult.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT Specialist)


Biofeedback for vertigo and dizziness complaints

Today, we know that vertigo arises as a result of conflicting information to the brain. For example, if one of the equilibrium organs in the inner ear is less well than the other, the center of equilibrium in the brain receives differing information. Since this information contradicts itself, a subjective feeling of dizziness and vertigo often also accompanied by a fall inclination arises. You are in the truest sense of the word out of balance.

The central compensation

If the damage remains in the inner ear for a long time, the brain can get used to the conflicting information. It learns to weigh the information differently and in this way creates a new balance. The vertigo disappears gradually and occurs only in special stress situations with high demands on a healthy balance system. This learning process of the brain is called central compensation. It is based on the so-called neuroplasticity, the ability of our brain to form new neural connections and networks. In young people, this ability is more pronounced than in older people. Therefore, the vertigo symptoms improve faster the younger a patient is. Especially for people from middle age, therefore, an intensive and above all effective training is required. Thus, the vertigo symptoms can be improved as quickly as possible and the risk of falling can be reduced.

Physiotherapy and biofeedback

This learning process can be promoted with a targeted vertigo training, which gives the brain time and again information about the movement in the room. It is important to differentiate between simple exercise exercises and physiotherapy of so-called biofeedback methods, which provide the brain with additional helpful information during training and are thus much more effective. Optical, acoustic or touch stimuli show the person concerned his position in space and replace the missing information, for example, from the equilibrium organ in the inner ear via other sensory channels.

Depending on the nature of the cause of dizziness and age, a dizziness training takes different lengths. A noticeable improvement occurs, however, especially in the biofeedback process but very quickly: in scientific studies could usually be found after ten training sessions, a significant improvement in the dizziness.

Further information on exercise targeting vertigo symptoms can be found here.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT-specialist)


EQUIVert awarded the ZENIT Innovation Prize

The winners of the innovation prize, which has been announced for the eighth time by the ZENIT e.V. network, have been announced: NRW Minister of Economic Affairs, Prof. dr. Andreas Pinkwart, patron of the competition in Mülheim an der Ruhr, honored the winner and five other companies. Twenty-two projects with highly interesting competition entries had applied for the innovation prize.

Success through Cooperation

Under the motto “Success through Cooperation”, innovative product and service ideas were sought that were developed in cooperation of a medium-sized company with a university or research institution or between companies. The quality of the submissions was exceptionally high, which is why six projects have been awarded. The laudatory speech in front of more than 100 guests was presented by jury chairman Prof. dr. Oliver Koch from the University of Applied Sciences Ruhr West.

Among the award-winning companies is the GED Gesellschaft für Elektronik und Design mbh, which had applied for the coveted award with EQUIVert.

Awarded for “Success through Cooperation” at the innovation award of the network ZENIT e.V., f.l.t.r. Hanno Square; Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart; Burkhard Heidemann; Prof. Dr. Oliver Koch and Dr.-Ing. Reinhard Viga. © Photo Network ZENIT e.V.

All award-winning companies can look forward to a one-year free membership in the Zenit e.V. network. The ZENIT e.V. network has been supporting small and medium-sized technology-oriented companies and universities in their innovation and internationalization activities since 1984 on behalf of the EU and the federal government. Its bringing together potential partners from business and science.

The competition theme “Innovation through Cooperation” had been chosen to highlight the great potential that can be developed through the cooperation of economic and scientific stakeholders or companies. The “transfer of knowledge and innovation between universities and companies will become more and more a success factor for economic development in Germany in the future” emphasized Prof. Koch in his eulogy.


Vertigo the underestimated symptom

Everything turns, the ground sways and you lose your grip: Vertigo is one of the most common symptoms of all and very stressful for those affected. Since several functional systems regulate our balance, the underlying diseases that can lead to dizziness are very different. As a result, the cause is not always easy to find. Dysfunction of the balance organ in the inner ear, neurological diseases and  psychogenic vertigo are the most common causes. But circulatory problems, tension in the neck and shoulder area or medication can cause balance problems, dizziness and vertigo as well.

Causes of vertigo

Valuable clues what causes the vertigo can be derived from the type of vertigo, the timing and accompanying symptoms. Thus, a sudden onset with rotary vertigo and ear symptoms such as tinnitus or hearing impairment may indicate a dysfunction of the inner ear. A vague feeling of drowsiness, swaying vertigo or an undirected tendency to fall are typical signs for neurological causes. A final diagnosis can usually only be made after special balance and coordination tests.


But not only the diagnosis, but also the therapy is a difficult task for sufferers and therapists. Since not all vertigo can be treated causally, symptomatic drugs are generally prescribed initially. They are intended to alleviate the symptoms first and prevent worsening by anxiety-related restraint. A major disadvantage of drugs, however, is that they make more or less tired and thereby increase the risk of falling under certain circumstances.

Therefore, balance training is the means of choice. Through balance training, the brain learns to compensate for any dysfunction and restore a new balance. Exercise, physiotherapy or modern biofeedback methods promote this learning process and lead to less discomfort and more safety in everyday life. They help to prevent falls sustainably improve the quality of life.

Further information on vertigo and its many causes can be found here.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT specialist)