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How to Treat Vertigo

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

My Experience With Vertigo

The only thing I ever knew about vertigo, before I experienced it myself, was that it could come and go, and it made you very dizzy. I only knew this from my mother's descriptions of the few times she had experienced it. She had said it was a terrible feeling and complained greatly about it.

Thinking she had been exaggerating, I was completely shocked the morning I woke up to a rapidly spinning room. Upon turning my head and opening my eyes, the room felt like it was moving around me in a circle, similar to being on a carousel, but faster. As I sat up, the spinning gradually slowed down. This instant sensation continued off and on for a period of two weeks, and I learned quickly which movements triggered it. The positions that triggered the spinning sensation for me were laying flat, and moving my head to look up. Because of these triggers, I was unable to lay flat for two weeks; I had to sleep in a half-sitting up position. After looking up once and falling to the ground abruptly from the fast spinning, I was extremely careful not to look up at all, but accidentally did a few times. I was unable to drive or go to work, losing complete control of what I wanted to do each day. I felt helpless.

I went to the doctor the same day my vertigo experience first occurred. I was really worried, thinking I had a brain tumor, or something even worse. After examining me, my doctor concluded my vertigo was a result of a previous sinus infection, that had ultimately resulted in affecting my inner ears. This was hard for me to believe. How could I experience such an extreme spinning sensation from an inner ear problem?

My doctor prescribed medication for nausea, and showed me some exercises (positions to place my head) that would improve my inner ear issue. I thought it was crazy at the time, but did some research, and tried it. Since that long two-week experience with vertigo, I have not experienced it again and hope I never do. I am very careful about preventing sinus infections, since this was the root cause of the problem.

Facts About Vertigo

  • According to eHow.com, "Vertigo is usually caused by problems in the vestibular system--found in the inner ear--which helps your body maintain its balance." They also state that some forms of brain damage can cause vertigo sensations. A common type of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo which is caused by the build-up of calcium in the ear. Another common type of vertigo is labyrinthitis which is caused by a bacterial infection in the ear. It can also be caused by blunt force to the head, which may cause damage to the vestibular system.
  • According to Co-Creating Health, the following are possible causes of vertigo: calcium carbonate crystals floating free inside your inner ear, poor vision , head injuries, heart disease, ear infection, brain tumor, thyroid disease, calcium deficiency, motion sickness, anemia, lack of sufficient oxygen supply to the brain, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • According to Disabled-World.com, "The disease is usually treated symptomatically since it will help to reduce the severity of manifestations. The problem is in the inner ear, which includes dislocation of calcium crystals and infections such as Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo (BPPV) and can be treated with certain exercises such as physical maneuvers. However, brain damage or cardiac problems are more serious and hence have to be treated very carefully."
  • According to the Social Security Disability Resource Center, about 600,000 people in the United States have vertigo and symptoms are different for each person. Sensations of feeling dizzy or spinning are the most pronounced for sufferers of vertigo. Some individuals also experience ringing in the ears. This sympton can lead to a loss of hearing over time.

Article Explaining the Epley Method to Cure Vertigo

How to Treat Vertigo

Like most illnesses, vertigo is a condition that takes time to get rid of. And because it is unpredictable, it is hard to prevent as well. There are different types of vertigo too. The most common type is benign paroxysmal vertigo which has been said can be treated successfully. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo occurs with head movement, which is what I experienced. While I experienced extreme dizziness, I was fortunate to have not had migraines, vomiting, or ringing in the ears. While I cannot speak for everyone, the treatments that I found helpful in curing my own vertigo are as follows:

  • Lay on the bed on your back, so that your head is hanging over the edge in a vertical position. Stay there for 10-30 seconds. Repeat this position several times a day. This exercise surprisingly helped me more than anything else.
  • Practice basic yoga, avoiding positions that trigger your vertigo. Relaxation techniques like yoga can improve vertigo symptoms over time.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid salt. Eat healthy meals and get plenty of rest. Try to avoid stressful situations.
  • According to Women's Health, performing a procedure called the Epley procedure, modified for home use, will have very positive effects. "Patients start by sitting on a bed and placing a pillow behind them so that it will be under their shoulders when they lie back. Then, turn your head 45 degrees to the left, if the vertigo is in the left ear, or to the right if it is in the right ear. Lie back quickly with shoulders on the pillow, neck extended, and head resting on the bed. In this position, the affected ear is underneath. Wait for 30 seconds. Turn your head 90 degrees to the right (without raising it), and wait again for 30 seconds. Turn your body and head another 90 degrees to the right, and wait for another 30 seconds. Sit up on the right side. The maneuver should be performed three times a day and repeated daily until there are no signs of vertigo for at least 24 hours."

"The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Always consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your condition."

Video Link to Epley Method to Cure Vertigo

  • Quick, easy cure for vertigo - Video on NBCNews.com
    Video on msnbc.com: The canalith repositioning procedure, also known as the Epley maneuver, has been recommended by the American Academy of Neurology as the best treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo — BPPV — a common cause of severe diz

More Hubs About How to Cure Vertigo

  • Living with Vertigo
    Vertigo is a condition not a disease. Vertigo is a result of a problem with the inner ear system that deals with our balance. Vertigo can also be a signs of other serious conditions like Multiple sclerosis, and Meniere’s disease. Migraines...
  • Best Essential Oils In Treating Vertigo
    A look at the best essential oils to be used in treating vertigo using


Audrey Surma (author) from Virginia on January 17, 2013:

Thanks for reading, TeriSilver and Glimmer Twin Fan! A parent of one of my students had vertigo for almost a year - it deeply impacted his life too. I'm glad my experience was short term and hope it never comes back.

Claudia Mitchell on January 16, 2013:

Interesting hub Rosie writes. A friend of mine had vertigo and it took him a long time to recuperate. It was quite debilitating for him. Good hub.

Teri Silver from The Buckeye State on January 14, 2013:

Useful information, backed by other sources. Thank you, Thumbs up!