While vertigo is often considered an inner ear problem, it’s important to know that heart problems commonly cause dizziness. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor if you’re having ongoing issues with lightheadedness.
Computerized assessment of postural stability (CAPS) is a type of balance test that provides valuable information about your balance.
Cardiovascular physician Ayim Djamson, MD, may recommend CAPS testing for heart patients with dizziness. Take a few moments to learn how CAPS testing and balance therapy help to manage dizziness.
If you experience symptoms of dizziness, you shouldn’t ignore it. Feeling like the room is spinning could be a sign of arrhythmia, a heart valve condition or other disease of the heart muscle.
An occasional dizzy spell is unlikely to signal anything serious. You should, however, always seek evaluation for ongoing bouts of dizziness.
Dr. Djamson may use CAPS testing to assess your balance and how well your brain perceives your body position.
Patients with dizziness often have an altered perception of where their body is in space. Critical brain areas react to information from the nervous system, which has receptors and sensors throughout the body.
The brain uses information it receives from the nervous system to balance the body as you move. Dysfunction of vital areas of the brain can result in balance problems, causing you to feel off balance or experience a spinning sensation.
The CAPS test involves using a very sensitive force platform, along with special software to measure changes in your balance. This is known as the center of pressure, which is intimately related to your center of gravity.
The test measures sway patterns from your center of gravity. Moving too far off your center of gravity can cause balance problems and result in falling.
The CAPS machine generates a report scoring your balance and stability. Dr. Djamson compares your score to what’s normal for your age, height, and gender. If you’ve had a previous CAPS test, Dr. Djamson compares your past and present scores to monitor your progress.
Using the CAPS machine, Dr. Djamson determines if you’re at risk of complications such as falling and may recommend balance therapy.
Balance rehabilitation is a specialized form of therapy to relieve dizziness and reduce your fall risk.
Using the findings from CAPS assessment and other relevant tests, Dr. Djamson recommends a customized exercise plan. Your plan may include balance training, gaze stabilization or habituation.
Each type of exercise addresses specific balance problems. For example, habituation exercises address symptoms of imbalance that occur when you make quick head movements, while gaze stabilization exercises improve eye movement control.
Dr. Djamson determines which exercises are most appropriate to address your specific balance symptoms.
CAPS balance testing provides valuable information in real time about your postural control. This can be used to assess your fall risk and prescribed balance therapy to manage your dizziness. Falls can cause significant injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.
To discuss this test with Dr. Djamson, contact us to schedule a visit. We have three offices in Beltsville, Bowie, and Columbia, Maryland. You can also send a message to Dr. Djamson and the team via our website.