The Trust has installed a state-of-the-art virtual reality computer gaming suite at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital to help patients with visual vertigo. The use of the technology has already led to a dramatic improvement in recovery times for patients suffering with the debilitating condition, with those using the digital landscape and headsets during rehabilitative therapy regaining control of their symptoms within six to eight weeks of starting therapy. This compares to six months using traditional rehabilitative therapy.
Professor Jaydip Ray, Clinical Director and Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said: “Visual vertigo is a complex, yet poorly understood condition that can have a profound effect on people’s lives, with many finding it impossible to do job roles in the fire or police service that require you to cope with visual challenges. Our specialist regional neurotology clinic has already pioneered the use of augmented reality video game consoles with balance boards to help patients, so using hi-end virtual reality gaming systems for rehabilitative therapy for patients with visual vertigo is a natural progression for us.” Over time, the technology could be used in patients’ homes for self-help therapy.