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Effective Home Remedies For Vertigo
Many people have heard the word “vertigo,” but a large number are only familiar with it from the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. The truth is that vertigo is a serious condition that can have a very detrimental effect on the quality of life for those who experience it.
Vertigo is a condition in which people begin to feel dizzy, disoriented or unbalanced for no apparent reason. Imagine if you were going about your day and suddenly you felt like the room was spinning, and you couldn’t tell the difference between up and down. That’s what living with vertigo can be like for many people. Other symptoms that might occur in someone with vertigo include nausea, headache, ringing in the ears, sweating or jerking eye movements.
There are a number of different medical problems that can cause vertigo symptoms to manifest. The most common cause is a condition known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. It’s often difficult to determine what exactly triggered a case of BPPV, but it can be caused by a head injury or the loosening of calcium otoliths in the utricle and saccule of the inner ear. These components of the ear are what help you keep your balance and coordination. If they become loosened out of place, they can’t function properly. This usually only happens in one ear, and as such, vertigo is often reported to feel as if it’s coming from one side or the other.
Another cause of vertigo symptoms is Meniere’s disease, an accumulation of fluid and change of pressure in the ears that can also cause episodes of ear ringing and hearing loss. There’s also labyrinthitis, otherwise referred to as vestibular neuritis, an infection of the inner ear that causes inflammation around nerves in the inner ear that help the body maintain a sense of balance and direction.
In more rare instances, vertigo symptoms can be caused by a brain tumor, stroke, migraine headaches or a neck injury.
Treatments for Vertigo
This all probably sounds very scary, but the good news is that there are some effective remedies that can stop it, which we’ll discuss shortly. Vertigo is a serious condition, and the exact treatment will depend on what exactly is causing the symptoms to occur, so it’s important to always work with a doctor.
Vertigo oftentimes just goes away on its own and doesn’t require any further treatment. In other cases, a patient may require medicine, surgery or vestibular rehabilitation.
There are also a series of head and body movements called canalith repositioning maneuvers, which can be performed to help someone with vertigo ease their symptoms and regain their sense of balance and orientation. These maneuvers are recommended by the American Academy of Neurology and can be done on your own, effectively making them a type of home remedy. Again, vertigo shouldn’t be taken lightly, and you should always keep your doctor in the loop about what kind of maneuvers you’re performing on your own.
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The Foster Maneuver (aka Half-Somersault Maneuver)
- Kneel down on all fours, look up for a few seconds, and then put your head down on the floor so you’re looking back at your knees and feet. Wait for 30 seconds or for symptoms to stop.
- Turn your head in the direction of the ear that’s affected from vertigo (turn left if it affects your left ear, and vice versa). Wait for 30 seconds.
- Keep your head turned to that side, and now raise it so it’s level with your back. Maintain the position for 30 seconds.
- Now raise your head fully upright, still keeping it turned to that side, and slowly stand up.
You may have to do this a few times for your symptoms to completely go away. If this is the case, wait 15 minutes before trying again.
The Epley Maneuver
This maneuver is often performed at doctor’s office, as well.
- Sit on your bed (or a doctor’s exam table) with your legs flat out in front of you (not hanging over the edge).
- Turn your head to the side that’s most affected by the vertigo. Keeping your head in this position, lay down so that your back is flat but your head is hanging over the edge of the bed/table. Stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds or until symptoms go away.
- Slowly rotate your head 45 degrees in the opposite direction (if you started out looking left, turn it right, and vice versa). Wait 30-60 seconds or until symptoms subside.
- Roll onto your side (if you just turned your head to your right, roll onto your right side) and look down. Tuck your chin down and so you’re looking at the bed/table. Wait 30-60 seconds.
- Keeping your head rotated, sit up on the bed/table. Slowly look forward.
Vertigo can be very problematic for those who experience it, but you don’t have to allow it to ruin your life. Work with your doctor, and try some of these maneuvers out for yourself to see how they can help you.