Vertigo is when you suddenly feel dizzy, as if the world is spinning—or as if you are. Occasionally, issues like migraines, neck injuries, or other cerebral disorders may be to blame, but more often the issue is an ear problem. Here is a look at how to treat vertigo.
The treatment for vertigo obviously depends upon the underlying issue. In some cases, vertigo is only an issue in the short term. The brain and body adjust to the “different” balance and the vertigo gradually recedes. While brains generally lose their plasticity as they age, they can still adjust to changes like an inner ear issue. However, in some cases, treatment is necessary to keep you walking a straight line.
A form of physical therapy called “vestibular rehabilitation” works for some people. The vestibular system is in charge of connecting the brain and the body in terms of gravitational pull and movement. The goal is to help other senses make up for the change in the ears. Vestibular therapy is generally used when vertigo comes and goes.
While medication won’t necessarily fix the vertigo itself, it can help with additional symptoms like nausea. Infection or inflammation in the ear can sometimes cause vertigo, in which case antibiotics or steroids may actually relieve the issue. Inflammation may occur, particularly in the vestibular nerve, and medication to relieve the swelling can also get rid of the vertigo.
Meniere’s Disease is a condition in which one ear is subject to vertigo, tinnitus, pressure, eventual hearing loss, and often vertigo from the fluid in the inner ear. Diuretics, which help the body get rid of extra fluid, may be effective in this case. Anticholinergics, antihistamines, and benzodiazepines may also help suppress the vestibular nerve sufficiently to reduce dizziness. Vitamin D supplements may be effective when vertigo onset is linked to a Vitamin D deficiency.
Vertigo is sometimes so chronic and severe as to require surgical alternatives to ineffective alternatives. Surgery for vertigo involves placing a plug of bone in the ear where the dizziness is coming from. This keeps the canal from reacting to head movements like it normally would. Only a tenth of people who undergo this surgery will get the desired outcome. When traumatic injuries to the neck or brain are the cause of the vertigo, specific procedures to fix the results of the trauma may relieve chronic vertigo. If tumors in the brain or ear are the culprit, removing this tumor may solve the issue as well.
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