Have you ever experienced the sensation that either you feel like you’re spinning or feel like your surroundings are spinning? If so, you can say you have experienced vertigo. Some may refer to vertigo as having “dizzy spells,” when really vertigo is actually a sensation of spinning that slightly differs from being dizzy. Vertigo could cause you to become nauseous or it could even cause you to fall and sustain an injury; a problem in your inner ear is usually the culprit behind what causes this condition.
Vertigo is often triggered by a change in the position of your head. If you ask someone with vertigo to describe what they feel they may express to you the following descriptions:
- Sensation of spinning or that everything around them is spinning.
- Feeling like they are being tilted.
- Feeling like they are swaying back and forth.
- Being off balance.
- Feeling like they are being pulled to one direction.
Other symptoms can also go hand in hand with vertigo and may include the following:
- Abnormal or jerking movements of the eyes (nystagmus)
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Experiencing hearing loss
- Altered level of consciousness
- Difficulty walking or lack of coordination
- Weakness in the arms and/or legs
Any of the symptoms listed can last from either a few minutes, to a few hours, or even longer…in addition, the symptoms may come and go without warning. There are a few common causes of vertigo, please do not be alarmed by the big words…allow us to explain these causes in further detail to you as follows:
- BPPV. Okay, this stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Ignore the big words we’ll make it as simple as possible for you to understand. BPPV happens when tiny calcium particles clump together in the canals of your inner ear. The inner ear is the place responsible for sending signals to your brain about head and body movements in relation to gravity…basically the inner ear is what helps you keep your balance. BPPV can occur for no reason and may also be associated with age.
- Meniere’s Disease. This is an inner ear disorder that is most likely caused by buildup of fluid and the changes of pressure in the inner ear. This disease can cause episodes of vertigo to occur plus ringing in the ears and hearing loss. If you have this condition generally a low salt diet will be recommended for you to follow, because the less salt you eat the less build-up of fluid you will have.
- Vestibular Neuritis. This is an inner ear problem that is usually related to a viral infection that causes inflammation in the inner ear around the nerves that are important for the body to maintain its sense of balance.
Diagnosis of vertigo will be comprised of your provider performing a physical exam along with taking into consideration your medical history. If the cause of vertigo is more extensive, such as from a brain injury…your provider may perform tests such as a CT scan as a more definitive approach to rule out other possibilities.
After diagnosis, treatment of vertigo will solely depend upon what is causing it and you should take comfort in knowing that it may even go away without any treatment. The body is so amazing because your brain is able to adapt in some ways to the inner ear changes it detects when you experience vertigo, by relying on other mechanisms to maintain your body’s balance. However, if you were to need treatment it could range anywhere from having to take medication to a surgical procedure. Ultimately, Total Home Health will work closely alongside your provider to keep your care as on point as possible in order for you to have the best outcomes and provide you with symptomatic relief.
Total Home Health and our professionals would like to take a moment to provide you with home remedies that may help ease some symptoms that your experience with vertigo may cause. Being able to modify areas of your lifestyle on your own without medical treatment is much less risky, less costly, and could even decrease your risk for other health problems. Please speak with your provider though beforehand especially if you decide to try herbal supplements to ease your symptoms. Some home remedy ideas for you are as follows:
- Take a Vitamin D supplement.
- Take herbal supplements such as ginger root and ginkgo biloba per the discretion of your provider.
- Avoid substances that can affect circulation which include caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.