Living with vertigo can be quite challenging. It can cause dizziness and discomfort, as well as interfere with daily tasks and prevent you from driving. It can also be difficult to persuade others to take your symptoms seriously, as vertigo and dizziness may appear to be minor issues to someone who has never experienced them. So, what can you do to get rid of your symptoms?
What exactly is vertigo?
Vertigo is a dizzy and motion sensation that might cause you to lose your sense of balance. Even when everything is motionless, it feels as if the world is moving, tilting, or whirling around you. Some people experience vertigo while riding in a moving car or on a funfair ride because the environment is moving around them while their bodies remain motionless. However, vertigo can occur if the balance organs in your inner ear are damaged. If your sense of balance becomes disrupted, you can experience vertigo at any time and in any place.
Symptoms can continue for a few seconds or several hours (in severe cases, vertigo can affect people for even longer)
The problem usually goes away on its own, but you should consult a Neurology Hospital if it doesn’t or if it continues returning.
Request an urgent appointment. If you also have a strong headache, are unwell, or have a fever, consult your doctor.
If you experience double vision, hearing loss, difficulty speaking, or feel weakness, numbness, or tingling in your arm or leg, go to A&E immediately.
Potential Sources of Vertigo
Vertigo can occur for a variety of reasons. If it is accompanied by other symptoms, it could indicate an infection or possibly a stroke. In most situations, though, it will be linked to the balancing organs in your inner ear.
When you visit a doctor for vertigo, they will inquire about how and when the symptoms manifest. The doctor will want to know if they happen more frequently when you undertake certain activities or if you have any other symptoms or health problems.
You may also require tests to verify your balance or to examine your ears. The test might be as simple as having you sit and then quickly stand up to evaluate how it impacts your balance. However, additional specialized testing may be required in some circumstances to determine what is wrong.
If the issue is related to your inner ears, it could be caused by the following:
Paroxysmal Benign Paroxysmal Positional vertigo occurs when minute particles in the ear impact your balance organs as they move around, which occurs frequently when you shift position abruptly.
Ménière’s Disease is an inner ear illness characterized by fluid buildup; it frequently results in tinnitus.
Labyrinthitis is a condition in which an infection produces inflammation in the inner ear, affecting the nerves that transmit messages from the balancing organs.
Vertigo usually goes away on its own, but if it is severe or occurs frequently, it is necessary to visit a neurologist. An ENT consultant will be able to determine the cause of your symptoms and propose treatments to alleviate or manage them. The optimum method will be determined by the source of your vertigo.
Vertigo therapy options are as follows:
- Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial illnesses.
- Manoeuvres to reposition any material compromising the balancing organs
- Medication to alleviate related symptoms such as nausea
- Surgery can sometimes be beneficial, such as when an accident or tumour affects the inner ear.
Some types of vertigo are totally curable. For example, if you develop vertigo as a result of an ear infection, medications may be prescribed to treat the underlying cause. Some vertigo-causing disorders, however, are more difficult to treat. If your symptoms cannot be entirely eliminated, you may need to find strategies to manage them.
You can also do some basic things at home to alleviate the symptoms of vertigo. When your symptoms develop, you can attempt the following:
As soon as you feel dizzy or off balance, sit down. However, try to go about it gently and smoothly so that you don’t aggravate your symptoms.
If sitting does not assist, lie down in a darker room. It should assist to alleviate the sensations of spinning or tilting. Allow yourself as much time as you need to recover and do not rush back to work or other activities.
These measures should help to alleviate your symptoms and make you feel less dizzy.
Precautions such as sitting or lying down will also keep you from injuring yourself by falling over when your balance is off. If you are concerned about falling, you should consider using a walking stick.
If you have a balance condition or are frequently afflicted by vertigo, there are several simple things you may take to lessen the likelihood of your symptoms returning:
If you need to pick something up, don’t bend down. Instead, use your knees to reach the ground while maintaining your head upright.
Avoid stretching your neck, such as when exercising or reaching up to take items from high shelves or cupboards. Alter your activities or seek assistance instead.
Maintain as much stability as possible in your head. Make no sudden or harsh movements.
Before getting out of bed in the dark, always turn on the lights. When you can’t trust your inner ears, being able to see will help you keep balanced.
Avoid abruptly changing positions, especially while standing up after sitting or sleeping down. Use a couple of pillows to keep your head lifted during the night, and when you wake up in the morning, take a moment to halt and sit on the side of the bed.
Anxiety can exacerbate your symptoms, so try not to worry too much. Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and breathing exercises may be beneficial. You can also seek assistance from your doctor or a therapist.