The term vestibular dysfunction refers to damage to the vestibular system resulting in symptoms such as impaired balance and nausea.
Injury or dysfunction of the vestibular system will most commonly result in symptoms of dizziness or vertigo, problems with balance or equilibrium, nausea, vomiting, and/or nystagmus. It is important to distinguish ordinary dizziness from true vertigo. While dizziness can result from any number of conditions, true vertigo is more pathognomonic of vestibular system dysfunction. Vertigo involves the perception of movement. In some cases, patients perceive themselves to be spinning around in space, in others they will report that their room, the ceiling, or whatever environment they are in seems to be spinning around them. In such instances, nausea is not uncommon. Symptoms of vestibular dysfunction can result from either peripheral (inner ear) or central (vestibular nuclei) pathology, or involvement of the...