Have you had the feeling of your surrounding spinning or moving around you? This feeling or symptom is called vertigo. Learn about its causes, treatment, and more.
The symptom that makes a person feels that he or she is moving when they actually are not moving or has a sense of spinning dizziness or lightheadedness, is called vertigo. It is a symptom of various health conditions, such as problems in the inner ear or brain or nervous system. Vertigo can occur at any age, but it commonly affects people over 65 years of age. It can be either temporarily during pregnancy or ear infection. People with Ménière's disease (a disease affecting the inner ear) also suffer from vertigo.
If you have vertigo, you will feel as if the room is spinning around you. It is not a disease in itself, but a sign that you have some other health conditions. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease, and acute onset vertigo are the most common causes of vertigo.
The different types of vertigo are:
Changing your head position is the most common trigger of vertigo. It feels like your head is spinning, swaying, tilting, you feel unbalanced and pulled to one side. The other symptoms that might be associated with vertigo are:
The symptoms may come and go or last for a few minutes to hours.
Usually, an imbalance in the inner ear or problems with the central nervous system (CNS) leads to vertigo. The common conditions that can result in vertigo are:
The other conditions that can cause vertigo are:
To determine the cause of vertigo, your doctor will carry out a physical examination, and ask you about the factors that trigger dizziness. To diagnose the cause of vertigo, you might have to take the following tests:
Usually, the treatment depends on the cause of vertigo. In most cases, vertigo gets better on its own as the brain adapts to the changes in the inner ear, and maintains balance through other mechanisms. And for some, one of the following treatment options might be necessary:
For more information on vertigo, consult a specialist online now!
The following are the most common triggers of vertigo:
- Inner ear infections and any diseases of the ear.
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
- Vestibular neuritis.
- Meniere's disease.
The following are the most common clinical signs seen in a patient affected with vertigo:
- A feeling of being nauseated.
- Abnormal and random jerking eye movements which are termed as the nystagmus.
- Profuse sweating.
- Ringing sensation in the ears.
- Loss of hearing.
The following are some methods by which you can try to fix your vertigo on your own:
- When you experience an attack of vertigo, immediately sit on the edge of your bed.
- Turn your head approximately 45 degrees to the right.
- Lie down quickly on your left side.
- Stay in the same position for about 30 seconds.
- Then, promptly move to lie down on the other end of your bed.
- Gently return to the sitting position and wait a few minutes.
- Reverse the same moves for the right ear.
- When you do not have a bed nearby, you can even do it on the floor.
You can get rid of your vertigo attack soon by trying out the following remedies:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Take some sugar.
- Take medicines such as Dimenhydrinate and Meclizine under proper doctor’s prescription.
- When the above remedies do not resolve your vertigo, rush to the emergency department with someone's help and get checked, since it can be due to any severe underlying conditions.
If the symptoms you experience suggest benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), watchful waiting may be beneficial. With time benign paroxysmal positional vertigo may go away on its own. But when you treat your vertigo attack with a simple procedure in your doctor's clinic, it can usually stop your vertigo right away.
The following are some best medicines prescribed by physicians all over the world to prevent and treat vertigo over a long period of time:
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C, and they can help in easing the various sensations that vertigo causes. It is advised that the patient can consume three to four fresh strawberries every day. Besides, another method is that the person can cut and place the berries in a cup of fresh yogurt throughout the night and consume it on the next day. This is because yogurt is a rich source of magnesium, and thus it helps to treat dizziness.
The following are the list of foods that are rich in its sodium content and has to be avoided by a person who is affected with vertigo:
- Soy sauce.
- Canned foods.
The patients are also advised to quit smoking as nicotine can constrict blood vessels and aggravate vertigo.
The following are the three different types of vertigo:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
- Vestibular neuronitis.
The following are easy exercise-oriented home remedies that can help in relieving vertigo:
- Epley maneuver.
- Semont-Toupet maneuver.
- Brandt-Daroff exercise.
- Ginkgo Biloba.
- Stress management.
- An adequate amount of sleep.
- Increased hydration compared to normal.
Usually, you are supposed to see your doctor when you experience symptoms of any recurrent, abrupt onset, severe, or chronic and unexplained dizziness or vertigo. Get immediate medical care if you suddenly experience severe dizziness or vertigo chiefly accompanied with symptoms of sudden or severe headache and chest pain.
Yes, vertigo can indicate something more serious. Warning signs of serious complications include the following:
- Sudden vertigo is not affected by the change of position.
- Lack of muscle coordination or new weakness.
- Deafness and no history of Meniere's disease.
A person who has vertigo symptoms, dizziness, and severe imbalance but without a weakness felt on one side of the body, cannot be a sign of stroke most of the time. In a patient with stroke, vertigo, or dizziness, an imbalance is usually noted to occur along with one side of the body's weakness. Thus vertigo alone cannot be a sign of stroke.
In most people, headaches and tension are noted to be increased after having a poor quantity or quality of sleep. Frequently, this can be accompanied by a sense of dizziness and lightheadedness. Thus, It is always recommended for the patient to consult their doctor if this problem has been long. Also, various remedies to improve the quality and quantity of sleep can be practiced by the patient.
Various health conditions like cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrest, heart arrhythmia, and transient ischemic attack could frequently present with dizziness symptoms. The reason behind this is that a decrease in blood supply can cause poor blood flow to your brain’s cerebellum or inner ear. These are the chief organs that help in maintaining balance. Thus when these organs are affected, dizziness can be seen.
If your dizziness is not resolving with time and it is not eased by lying down or if your balance is trembling, you should immediately reach the closest emergency department with the help of someone. Also, if you have any blurred vision or loss of vision, they are potential symptoms that warrant an immediate hospital visit. Driving on your own can lead to a road traffic accident since you might lack balance.
No increased sugar consumption can not cause vertigo because only a drop in blood sugar levels can cause dizziness. Blood sugar levels usually rise after a meal and relieve the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness.
The following are the symptoms that are suggestive of vertigo:
- A sense of spinning.
- Loss of balance.
- Whirling sensation.
- Loss of balance.
- Associated nausea or vomiting.
Yes, mild vertigo can be treated naturally. Ginkgo biloba is a herb that is known to resolve the symptoms of vertigo. It usually works by managing blood flow to the brain in order to relieve dizziness and balance issues.
Any beverage that contains ginger in it can ease vertigo and its associated symptoms, such as nausea, lightheadedness, and vomiting. Drinking ginger tea every day is quite an effective method in treating vertigo.
It would be best if you worried about your vertigo when it has the following characteristics:
- Sudden onset of vertigo.
- Recurrent episodes of severe vertigo.
- Associated symptoms of blurred vision, loss of vision, severe headache, or chest pain.
Yes, vertigo can be triggered by physical exercises. When a person regularly does activities that involve several head movements, it can lead to vertigo.
A patient diagnosed with vertigo exercises should do vertigo exercises from three to five times in a session. The person is advised to have three sessions a day for up to two weeks, or until the vertigo is completely gone for two days.
Last reviewed at:
14 Dec 2019 - 4 min read
Query: Hello doctor, I am a 50 year old male, who weighs 240 lbs. Two weeks back, I had dizziness following an attack of severe vertigo that made me fall to the ground. My psychiatrist sent me for an EKG, I went to the cardiologist to review the reports, and he said that the EKG was abnormal. My psychiat... Read Full »
Query: Hello doctor, I think I have an inner ear infection. I went to the doctor last year and he asked me about my symptoms. I told him and he said I had a viral thing in which he gave me antibiotics to take which I did not take. When I got my summary it is said that I had sinusitis. Now until this day m... Read Full »
Query: Hi doctor, I have mild vertigo for the past one month. There is no sweating or vomiting. I do not have any pain in the head and there is no problem of hearing and vision. I am only experiencing some balancing problem. My ENG test is absolutely normal. What will be the possible way to reduce this? Read Full »
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