Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo

The sensations of amusement park rides are a thrill for many across the country. The dizzy feeling from spinning in circles or speeding through turns delights both children and adults alike. However, when a dizzy sensation suddenly hits when sitting at work, walking to get the mail, or when going through the regular routines of the day, this unforeseen sensation can be quite a scary ride. While a spell of dizziness can be triggered by a variety of factors, one common cause is vertigo.

Over 40% of those over the age of 40 experience vertigo at least once during their lifetime; this equates to over 69 millions Americans. An episode of vertigo can happen just once or can become a chronic, frequent problem. While the severity of symptoms varies from person to person, most sufferers would agree an onset of vertigo is no walk in the park. Many experience vertigo without even realizing what it is. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of vertigo and what you can do to recover from a vertigo attack.


A Definition Of Vertigo


Vertigo is defined as a medical condition where sensations of spinning, swaying, rotating, or rocking are experienced by someone who is perfectly still. It usually results from issues of the inner ear. The vestibular system of the inner ear controls our sense of special orientation. Additionally, this delicate part of the ear provides our sense of balance. But when the inner ear is experiencing abnormality, it throws our equilibrium off balance – literally.


The Symptoms

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo The Symptoms

Massive headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sensations of spinning can all be present when this vertigo hits. And unfortunately, it seldom seeks out an appointment time; vertigo arrives unannounced and strikes suddenly, leaving you feeling sick and dizzy.

The length of a vertigo attack varies from person to person. The cause of vertigo may influence how long an episode can last. For some sufferers it may be just a few seconds, for others, it can be several hours of incessant spinning. For those that have a lengthy episode, laying down and remaining completely still may be the only way to stop or reduce the ongoing, swaying sensation. Most vertigo sufferers agree that the dizzying symptoms intensify when moving or turning the head.


The Causes Of Vertigo


During the course of a lifetime, there are a variety of things that can affect the inner ear. Head injuries, inflammation due to a sickness, or bacterial infections can affect our inner ears. An inner ear impaction can throw off our sense of balance. Below are some problems the inner ear could have during a lifetime – all which can result in someone experiencing vertigo.


Meniere’s Disease

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo Meziere's Disease

This is a disorder of the inner ear and usually affects just one ear. The exact causes of Meniere’s Disease are unknown. However, conditions like allergies or viruses could increase fluids in the ear and cause the disease. If an individual has Meniere’s disease he or she is likely to experience vertigo every now and then. An episode can last from 20 minutes up to a few hours. Those with this condition may also experience a ringing in the ears or a loss of hearing.

Meniere’s Disease is diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 60.  More females have this condition than males. And this disease has shown to be genetic. There are no cures for the condition at this point, but those who suffer from extreme vertigo episodes can take medication to help ease the symptoms.


Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV)

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

This condition is probably the most common for those who suffer from vertigo and greatly affects the aging population. Again, the exact cause is unknown but is linked to a calcium otolith, or calcium deposit structure, moving loosely in the inner ear. It can occur at any age but is more commonly seen in those who are older than 60. Females also more likely to be diagnosed with BBPV than males.

Those with BBPV usually experience vertigo when moving their head suddenly or too fast. Dizzying episodes generally last a minute or less. In various studies, stress or lack of sleep has shown to be triggers for vertigo episodes.


Vestibular Neuritis

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo Vestibular Neuritis

Vertigo occurs when the vestibule nerve inside the inner ear becomes inflamed. The inflammation is often a result a viral or bacterial infection.

Vestibular Neuritis usually lasts three to six weeks, and vertigo is the main indicator of this condition. Those with this diagnosis are usually between the age of 30 and 60 and does not affect one gender more than the other. Since this condition is temporary, vertigo usually occurs without causing vestibule inflammation. Some sufferers find participating in physical therapy helpful in regaining an accurate sense of balance.


Six Ways To Handle A Vertigo Attack


It would be nice if vertigo attacks occurred while lying down in bed in the comforts of home, but that is seldom the case. But there are a few measures that should be taken to help lessen the swaying sensation and nausea. If you have never experienced an episode of vertigo before, you should seek the attention of a doctor just to make sure it’s not something more serious. And while vertigo attacks are pretty scary in the event, below are some ways to lessen the symptoms.


1) Lie Down And Keep The Head Still.

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo Lie down and keep the head still

If you are feeling especially nauseous, sometimes it’s easy to simply lie down right on the bathroom floor in case you feel the need to throw up. This is usually more preferable if you are at home. If you are forced to use a public bathroom the last thing you probably want to do is get down on a floor that has who knows what encrusted on it. In this instance, it might be better to find someplace to sit as still as possible and grab a container in case you are feeling sick.


2) Try A Half Somersault Exercise.

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo Try a half somersault exercise

This is a newer technique that many vertigo health professionals have found to be effective. As part of this maneuver vertigo sufferers crouch with their head upside down as if they were going to do a somersault. But rather than actually go through with the gymnastic tumble, just maintain that position until the dizziness subsides. Then sit up until your head is level. Doing this a few times can help stabilize any particles in the inner ear that are causing the imbalance. This exercise is a beneficial one for those who have frequent episodes of vertigo.


3) Turn Off The Lights.

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo turn off the lights

When the dizzying sensation of vertigo first arrives, it is a good idea to turn off all the lights. Glaring, overhead lights can definitely worsen the symptoms of a vertigo attack. But it’s also beneficial to refrain from using devices that emit light as well. Turn off cell phones, tablets, computer, and television screens while in the midst of a vertigo episode. The bright screens can increase the dizziness and make it more difficult to feel stable.


4) Stay Hydrated.

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo stay hydrated

Just like with most medical conditions or sicknesses, it’s important to stay hydrated. Headaches associated with vertigo can worsen if you are dehydrated so it’s important to consume water – even if you are worried it might just come back up. Some sufferers have found drinking Ginger tea to be helpful. An easy way to prepare this is to simply boil some water with slivers of ginger root in it. Let it cool down a bit before pouring into a mug and sipping it. This fluid helps to hydrate as well as calm a queasy stomach.


5) Eat A Healthy, Digestible Snack.

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo eat a healthy, digestible snack

If you are feeling nauseous, you may not feel like eating anything, but it’s important to have something in your stomach. An empty stomach or low sugar levels can throw your system off and lead to dizziness. Therefore, it is best to eat something light that provides nutrition. Eating a banana, low-acid fruit, or yogurt are some foods that generally help to reduce nausea and allow you to regain some balance.


6) Sleep It Off.

Dealing with the Dizziness of Vertigo sleep it off

For some sufferers of vertigo, no matter what remedy they try, sleep is the only cure for the dizziness. Lack of sleep can be a trigger for vertigo, so catching some zzz’s can help. Most find that after a good night’s rest the world has stopped spinning. However, it’s still a good idea to get out of bed slowly and make a conscious effort throughout the day to not jerk your head around.


Seeing A Doctor


It is very common for first-timers experiencing a vertigo attack to take a trip to the emergency room. In fact, generally, three to four million patients visit the ER each year due to vertigo-like symptoms. Of those that decide to visit a doctor for their first episode, over 90% fully recover without having another episode.

However, if you decide to see a doctor when experiencing dizziness, it is best to find someone else who can drive you. When feeling off balance, driving a car or operating machinery is not safe. If an episode ever comes with any of the following symptoms, medical attention should be sought out immediately: blurred or double vision, fever, shortness of breath, and/or slurred speech.

For those who experience vertigo episodes frequently, or have severe symptoms, seek out a specialized physician. An ear, nose, and throat doctor is usually a good heath professional to meet with. They can run tests to see if you have any problems with your inner ear or if you have a balance disorder.

In the event of a vertigo episode, many doctors recommend taking the measures listed above as a first approach. Some health care professionals also may recommend taking a supplement of Vitamin D or undergoing acupuncture to ease frequent, undesirable symptoms. Physicians can also prescribe medications that can help combat nausea and dizziness that accompany a vertigo episode. When visiting a doctor it’s important to disclose all other medications since they could have negative side-effects – or lead to more dizziness– when taken with new prescriptions.

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