Popular Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan recently revealed in an interview that he has been battling against a disease called Vestibular Hypofunction.
Keeping busy with the promotion of an upcoming film release, the 35-year-old opened up about his health condition and how he has been coping with this rare condition. Varun shared these health updates during an interview at India Today Mumbai Conclave 2022. Giving another health update later that day, he thanked his fans and shared that he is managing the condition with lifestyle changes.
Dhawan said in the interview, “Recently, I just shut down. I didn’t know what had happened to me. I had this thing called vestibular hypofunction, (where) basically your balance goes off. But I just pushed myself so hard. We are just running in this race, nobody is asking why. I think there is a greater purpose (why) we are all here. I am trying to find mine, and hopefully, people will find theirs.”
Soon after the revelation, the actor’s fans showered him with love and support, following which he tweeted another update on his health.
According to Dr Shobha N, Consultant Neurologist And Stroke Physician, Manipal Hospital, Malleshwaram, Bengaluru, the condition can be caused by either central or peripheral factors. It can also happen due to an infection, toxins, trauma, genetic or autoimmune disorders, tumours or neurodegeneration. However, the causes of 50 per cent of the cases of vestibular hypofunction are not known.
Sometimes, listening to music at high volume can also contribute to the problem.
“Injections like aminoglycosides and diuretics can act as toxins to the vestibular organs, trauma to the ear or the head and neck region, some genetic diseases, neurodegeneration also can be vestibular hypofunction. But in 50 per cent of the cases, we might not be able to elicit a cause,” she adds.
Common symptoms of the disease include dizziness, imbalance, visual blur, nausea, and vomiting, as per the neurologist. “Vestibular organs and the eighth nerve are needed for gaze fixation. If the input from the vestibular organs is inadequate, the gaze fixation will not be appropriate, and because of this, the patient will have difficulty standing, walking, and driving. Patients can also have recurrent falls,” she explains.
As per the expert, the treatment largely depends on the cause of the disease. Infections, trauma and toxins should be treated and avoided as soon as they are encountered. Whenever vestibular hypofunction is suspected, detailed neurological and ENT examinations are needed to arrive at a diagnosis. In addition to medication, one of the most important parts of managing the condition is vestibular rehabilitation.
As for the management of the condition, she suggests numerous vestibular exercises that can be tailored according to the patient’s clinical condition and the cause. Some of the exercises she suggests, include:
1. Training the eyes: For this, the patient should sit up in bed, look up and down side to side with the eyes and the pace has to be gradually increased.
2. Patient should sit up and shrug his shoulders and then stand, walking balance and passing the ball from one hand to the other.
3. Exercises for body balance.
4. Exercises to counter the movement which causes dizziness.