Do you often feel dizzy that lasts for a few minutes? You feel like the world is moving fast, your head spins and you might feel sick. If you experience this a few times in an hour, or more so for days, then, it might be an alarm that you might be suffering from vertigo. Also, a loss of balance associated with the condition can cause further complications. And you might need treatment for vertigo soon.
Vertigo is more of a symptom than a medical condition, where the person feels as if their surrounding is moving even when they are stagnant and still. This can be spinning or swaying movement. Often it is associated with vomiting, sweating or difficulty in walking. It gets worsened when the head is moved and results in dizziness which can be quite bothersome.
This sense of vertigo can be easily created and often done by small children who after spinning around for some time feel artificial Vertigo for few minutes or less. However, when vertigo occurs spontaneously or due to some injury, it tends to last longer. The semi-circular canals present in ear act like the gyroscope for the body, providing information of our position in space, and a little disturbance in this equilibrium can cause a feeling of dizziness.
Did you know?
- Approximately 20-40 percent people are affected or go through dizziness at some point in their life
- Only 7.5-10 percent out of them suffer from vertigo
- Vertigo affects around 5 percent of people in a single year
- Women are 2-3 times more often affected than men
- Around 2-3 percent of vertigo cases go to the emergency department
Know the cause
Certain diseases result in vertigo, and therefore treatment for vertigo ultimately means treatment of that underlying illness. Below are some conditions that may show vertigo symptoms
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): attacks of vertigo last less than a minute, most common cause of vertigo. Occurs due to a mechanical malfunction in the inner of the ear
- Meniere’s disease: a vestibular disorder of unknown origin, most probably caused by increasing endolymphatic fluid amount present in the inner ear. Spontaneous attacks of chronic vertigo with ringing in the ears, severe nausea, imbalance, fullness in the ear or even hearing loss
- Labyrinths- presents with severe vertigo, associated with nausea, generalized imbalance. Hypothetically, caused by viral infection in the inner ear
- Vestibular migraine-associated with migraines and is the most common cause of recurrent episodes of vertigo. Caused by stimulation of the trigeminal nerves Other non-disease causes include:
- A stroke
- Multiple sclerosis
- Growth in the brain (acoustic neuroma)
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Drinking too much alcohol
The sensation of spinning or moving while stationary is vertigo. Some of the symptoms include posture instability, difficulty in walking or steady movement, losing balance and falling down, etc. The quality of life is affected when these episodes become recurrent. Difficulty in speaking, lowered level of consciousness, hearing loss or blurred vision may occur. Vertigo can be insidious, persistent or sudden—in short, episodic. Persistent vertigo signs last longer than a day as naturally occurs as people age and get older. There is degeneration of otolith, and ampulla organs with an increase in age and therefore treatment for vertigo become more important. On the other hand, episodic vertigo lasts longer period.
Ways to deal with vertigo
Treatment for vertigo depends on whether the vertigo is caused by a disease or any other cause. Many medications are available to treat vertigo be it persistent or episodic. These medicines primarily help in treating symptoms of vertigo in an individual. Most of them work by blocking particular chemicals in the brain.Only in very rare cases when the situation is severe surgery might be advised. Here is a list of some of the medicines and exercises can help with the treatment of vertigo as well.
- Prochlorperazine blocks a chemical compound called dopamine and helps in severe cases.
- Anti-histamines block histamine helping in improving mild sickness, vomiting, and vertigo.
- Betahistine may be prescribed for Meniere’s disease, to prevent another attack. It improves the blood circulation around the ear.
- Specific head movements like Epley maneuver or Canalith Repositioning Procedure(CRP) can help remedy the situation. If CRP doesn’t work, Brandt-Daroff exercises can be tried.
- Cawthorne head exercises or vestibular rehabilitation exercises are also recommended which should be practiced on a regular basis.
When you notice these signs and symptoms, it is crucial to talk to your healthcare provider at the earliest to start the diagnosis and treatment procedures. Keeping yourself healthy and in a good state of mind helps to prevent vertigo and in some cases. While some treatments for vertigo are medicinal, researchers show that some particular head and eye exercises on a regular basis can improve vertigo staying right at home, without the need for medicine. Any sort of treatment procedure being adopted should be followed properly to manage and treat the condition effectively.