Dizziness or “VERTIGO”

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About vertigo

Vertigo is a symptom not a condition. It’s the feeling that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning. This feeling may be barely noticeable, or it could be so severe that you can’t even focus on your day to day activities. Attacks of vertigo can develop suddenly and last for a few seconds, or they may last much longer if you have severe vertigo. Life will be very difficult to cope with. Other symptoms associated with vertigo may include:
  • loss of balance – which can make it difficult to stand or walk
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • dizziness
  • nausea

What causes vertigo?

Vertigo is commonly caused by a problem with the way balance works in the inner ear. Causes of vertigo may include:
  • benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – where certain head movements cause vertigo
  • Migraines– severe throbbing headaches
  • labyrinthis– an inner ear infection
  • vestibular neuronitis – inflammation of the vestibular nerve

How is vertigo treated?

Some cases of vertigo improve over time, without treatment. A series of simple head movements (known as the Epley manoeuvre) is used to treat BPPV. Epley maneuvers can be done by:
  • Sit on the edge of the bed and turn the head 45 degrees to the left.
  • Lying and facing upwards in bed at an angle of 45 degrees.
  • Keep the position for 30 seconds.
  • Turn the head half-90 degrees-to the right without raising it for 30 seconds.
  • Rotate the head and the whole body to the right side, look down for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly sit but keep sitting for at least a few minutes.
Medicines, such as antihistamines can be used. Many people even get help from vestibular rehabilitation training.

Self care

  • sleep with your head slightly raised on two or more pillows
  • get up slowly when getting out of bed and sit on the edge of the bed for a minute or so before standing
  • avoid bending down
  • move your head carefully and slowly during daily activities
  • do exercises that trigger your vertigo, so your brain gets used to it and reduces the symptoms

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