The following exercises are to be done twice a day:
1. Practice standing with both feet close together. As this becomes easy, practice with your eyes closed.
2. Practice standing on one foot. Repeat with the other foot. NOTE: If you are unable to stand on one foot for even a few seconds, you may have to shift your weight to one foot and rise up on the toes of the other foot until your balance improves, then try standing on one foot.
3. When exercise #2 becomes easy, practice standing on one foot while slowly turning your head from side to side. Repeat on the other foot.
4. Stand with one foot directly in front of the other (heel of the front foot touching the toe of the back foot). Switch feet and repeat.
5. When exercise #4 becomes easy, repeat it, but close your eyes first.
6. Stand with your back to the corner of a room, and your feet about 12 to 18 inches apart. Hold a beach ball in your hands. Keeping your back, hips and arms straight, move the ball in large circles, keeping your eyes on the ball at all times (you may move your head while doing this). Practice for 30 seconds to one minute at a time. As you are able, speed up the exercise. NOTE: if you are able to do this exercise fairly fast, you will be dizzy when you stop. Lean into the corner until the dizziness passes, usually only for a few seconds.
7. When exercise #6 becomes easy, repeat it, but make larger circles by bending your hips, NOTE: if this causes back pain, DO NOT do this exercise.
Do the following eye exercises 3 to 4 times a day. Make a target by putting a dark "R" on a small index card. Place the target on a "Plain" background such as a white wall or a white sheet draped over the back of a winged chair.
Practice exercises 1 through 3 in each of the following situations:
sitting 2-4 feet from the target
sitting 10-12 feet from the target
standing 2-4 feet from the target
standing 10-12 feet from the target
Do exercises 1 through 3 fast enough that they make you uncomfortable, but yet slow enough that you can tolerate them for a least 1 to 3 minutes. If you do not perform these exercises for at least one minute at a time, they will not help. If you perform these exercises to slow that they do not cause you to feel slightly dizzy or at least uncomfortable, they will not help you.
1. Turn your head from side to side, while keeping your eyes on the target.
2. Tilt your head up and down, while keeping your eyes on the target. Remove trifocals or bifocals for this exercise.
3. When you are able to do exercises 1 and 2 at a fairly fast speed without them being uncomfortable, place the target on a "busy" background, such as a checkerboard or striped or flowered wallpaper, and repeat exercises 1 and 2.
Exercises 4 and 5 should be performed in a hallway with all doors closed or close to a wall, so you can catch yourself if you lose your balance. If you feel unsure of yourself, have someone walk with you.
4. Practice walking 10 - 12 feet while slowly turning your head from side to side. DO NOT try to do this fast.
5. Practice walking 10 - 20 feet while slowly tilting your head up and down. Remove trifocals or bifocals for this exercise.
6. Holding the target in your hand, move the target from side to side, hold your head still, and follow the target with your eyes. Repeat, moving the target up and down. Remove trifocals or bifocals. Do as fast are you are able.
Additional Vestibular Exercises
1. Sit on the edge of the bed or couch. Look straight ahead and bounce up and down on the bed or couch for a few minutes. If this is difficult at first, then start slowly and gradually increase the speed and intensity of the bouncing. Later you can do this while watching tv.
2. Use a rowing machine to get used to a forward and backward movement. Strap your feet in but do not use the arms to row. Push yourself back and forth for a few minutes. If a rowing machine is not available, you can sit on a cheap skateboard, lock your feet under the edge of a cabinet and use your legs to push yourself back and forth. Start slowly at first and increase the speed as you tolerate it better. This also can be done later while focusing on the tv.