Have you ever felt that you or your environment is spinning or moving, and that this dizziness is affecting your balance already? This can be vertigo. On its own, vertigo is not the condition. Rather, it is a symptom. The range of the severity can be from being barely noticeable to really severe that it becomes very difficult to do your daily tasks.
Vertigo attacks can happen all of a sudden and then last for just several seconds. If the kind of vertigo that you have is severe, then the vertigo attacks can last for a number of days. This can greatly affect your life. You may find it difficult to walk or even just stand. You feel sick, and of course, you’re dizzy. What can you do to treat this? Read along so we can share with you some of the available treatments for vertigo.
Causes of Vertigo
Our balance, as you may already know, works with our inner ear. If you have issues with it, then vertigo may be a resulting symptom. Another is that certain areas of your brain may have some problems, causing vertigo attacks. Here are the other causes of vertigo:
- Vestibular neuronitis is when the vestibular nerve becomes inflamed. This nerve goes through your inner ear and connects to the brain, helping you with your balance
- Labyrinthitis which is an infection of the inner ear
- Migraines or severe headaches
- BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo which is particular head movements that can trigger vertigo attacks.
Other symptoms may emerge depending on the medical condition that is causing you to have vertigo. For example, you may also experience hearing loss, tinnitus or that ringing in the ears, as well as high temperature.
For most cases, vertigo can go away after a while and treatment won’t be necessary. But for those who have frequent episodes of vertigo attacks, then treatment is needed for them to be able to function normally again.
For those who have BPPV, one treatment includes a series of easy head movements. There are also medications like prochlorperazine and antihistamines that can relieve vertigo in its early stages.
You may also consider VRT or vestibular rehabilitation training. This is an exercise program to treat balance problems and dizziness. This is a good option for those who have problems or allergies with certain medicines.
How to Exercise Self-Care
A number of things can cause vertigo. Once you identify the causes, it is best to avoid them. There are also steps that you can take to help in relieving the symptoms of a vertigo attack. Here are some of them:
- Perform certain exercises that can cause vertigo attacks. This will allow your brain to get used to it. Consequently, the symptoms will be reduced. But before you do this, make sure that you have support so that you won’t fall or have any accidents
- When you sleep, use two pillows or more so that your head is raised slightly
- When you get out of bed, do it slowly. Before standing, sit on your bed first
- When picking items, avoid having to bend down
- In doing daily tasks and moving your head, do it slowly and carefully
What is Vestibular Rehabilitation Training?
VRT is a kind of retraining for your brain. With it, you will undergo a special program where you will perform exercises. The exercises will help your brain in adapting to the signals that your inner ears are sending.
During a VRT session, you are encouraged to keep on moving even if you are experiencing vertigo. With this, the brain becomes accustomed to relying on the other signals that come from other parts of the body such as the legs and eyes, and not solely depend on the inner ear balance. When your brain becomes used to this, it will minimize the dizziness, and you will begin to notice that your balance will improve.
If you want to try out VRT, you can check with your local audiologist or physiotherapist. If you don’t know any nearby, go to your doctor as he or she will most likely be able to refer you to a specialist who can provide VRT sessions. Another option you have is to get a self-help material for VRT. You can do it on your own, but you should talk to your doctor about it first.
When you suffer from vertigo attacks, you should always think about your safety. One of the things you should do is informing your employer, especially if you have to climb ladders or operate machinery. Also, keep your home a safe place since you may be prone to falls. It is best if you avoid driving if you are prone to vertigo attacks. You wouldn’t want to risk having an episode as you are driving.
Now that you know some of the causes and treatments of vertigo, you can now address this issue more confidently. You don’t have to panic every time that an episode happens. Remember to use your other senses to maintain your balance. Perform exercises that will help your brain to get used to the vertigo symptoms. Lastly, don’t forget to talk to your doctor before taking any medication or performing any exercise. How about you, what’s your best remedy for vertigo? Let us know in the comments!
Dr. Tymothy L. Flory graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri. Before opening Atlas Brain Spine, Dr. Flory practiced Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Flory completed Board Certification of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association in 2012 and is currently a Credentialed Instructor for the organization.