If you experience frequent bouts of dizziness that come out of nowhere, you may have a condition called vertigo.
Isn’t vertigo the same as a fear of heights, you may ask? No, that is a totally different condition. Vertigo is mostly caused by fluid imbalances in the ear, though some cases could be due to certain issues in the brain.
What Is Vertigo?
In simple terms, vertigo is a condition characterized by a distinct feeling of spinning. Some people feel like their body is spinning while for others the whole room may be going in circles.
Causes and Symptoms of Vertigo
Depending on the cause, vertigo is classified into two types:
- Peripheral vertigo: This is the more common type and is known to be caused by imbalances in the working of the inner ear. Some conditions that can lead to vertigo include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This type of vertigo can manifest itself with simple movements of the head, tossing over on the bed or bending to pick something up. These symptoms may last only a few seconds or minutes, but BPPV recurs frequently.
- Head injuries: In some, vertigo can be the result of a head injury and it is recommended to consult a doctor as soon as you feel its symptoms after a head injury.
- Labyrinthitis: A type of ear infection, labyrinthitis causes the inflammation of the pipes inside the ear. This inflammation can cause a disruption in the signals sent to the brain, leading to dizziness.
- Ménière’s disease: This is a rare condition that affects the inner ear and is known to be one of the causes of vertigo. This form of vertigo is characterized by sudden bouts of dizziness, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Central vertigo: This form of vertigo is caused by certain issues in some parts of the brain including the cerebellum or the brainstem. It is often caused by conditions like a migraine, a brain tumor, stroke or even certain medications.
The symptoms associated with vertigo are known to occur suddenly and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks in severe cases. The severity also varies from person-to-person — some may not notice it at all while it can disrupt the daily routine for others. These symptoms include:
- Feeling of swaying
- Feeling of imbalance
- A feeling of being tugged in one direction
- A headache
- Unusual eye movements
Home Remedies for Vertigo
While your doctor may recommend specialized physical therapy and medications to tackle the symptoms of vertigo, here are some tips you can use at home:
- Sit down as soon as you feel the onset of dizziness
- Do not jerk your head and try to focus on an object
- Use a walking stick if your symptoms make walking difficult
- Avoid or slow down any movements that seem to trigger dizziness
- Be slow when getting off a chair or bed
- Find a breathing technique that works for you; it can help you relax and reduce the intensity of the symptoms
- Try to get some fresh air by safely getting to an open window or door
- Try cayenne, turmeric, ginger or gingko biloba in pure or capsule forms
- Try to sleep; sleeping through the symptoms of vertigo can be difficult, but if you can it may be the best way to get through an attack
- Sniff on alcohol pads to reduce the feeling of nausea
Vertigo, regardless of the type, is a condition that can disrupt your life even if it is for a few minutes. Make sure you consult a physician to get the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, but keep in mind that ultimately it is your responsibility to ensure your safety when you are alone at home or work.
Natural and Homemade Remedies for Vertigo – Types of Home Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vertigotreatment.org/post/home-remedies-for-vertigo
MacGill, M. (2017, November 24). Vertigo: Causes, symptoms, and treatments. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/knowledge/160900/vertigo-causes-symptoms-treatments
Vertigo. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/brain/vertigo-symptoms-causes-treatment#2
Vertigo causes and treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/ears-nose-and-throat/vertigo#causes
Hardick, B. (2018, July 04). Dizziness Isn’t All In Your Head: A Doctor Explains Vertigo Ways To Treat It. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/dizziness-isnt-all-in-your-head-a-doctor-explains-vertigo-ways-to-treat-it