Vertigo disease is a term that is sometimes used to distinguish this common symptom of many conditions from the pop culture references that have appropriated the term. It is a very common problem, especially for people over the age of 40. In fact, about 40% of people will deal with vertigo at some point. Let’s look at 9 common misconceptions regarding vertigo. We will conclude by providing hope for our readers that a natural way to get relief does exist.
Myth 1: Vertigo Is a Disease
We started out with this point, so we should address it first. Vertigo is a symptom of many conditions including BPPV, Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, mal debarquement, and many other health problems. It is not a disease itself, and the fact that it is the title of a classic movie as well as the name of a graphic novel company makes it difficult to search the web for this symptom without calling it a disease or condition.
Myth 2: Vertigo and Dizziness Are One and the Same
While all vertigo can be categorized as dizziness, not all cases of dizziness are vertigo, so it is important to be specific with your doctor. What characterizes vertigo is a false sensation of movement. It can be a spinning, swaying, or tilting motion, but either yourself or the room around will appear to move when it is not. Dizziness can include things like being off-balance, feeling lightheaded, and many other sensations that are not included in the term vertigo.
Myth 3: Vertigo Is a Fear of Heights
If you are afraid of heights, then looking down from high up may trigger a bout of vertigo because attacks can be activated by anxiety. However, vertigo does not mean you have a fear of heights. The confusion may relate back to the classic move we mentioned earlier. It was called Vertigo, and the main character suffered from a fear of heights. The actual term for an irrational fear of heights is acrophobia.
Myth 4: You Can’t Have Meniere’s Disease in Both Ears
While this is usually a unilateral condition, there is a risk of the other ear experiencing the same issues with vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. If a medical professional tries to pressure you to ignore the risks of surgery by saying it is only one ear, just remember that (while rare) Meniere’s can occur in the other ear. Also, this is seen more often in advanced cases of the disease.
Myth 5: It’s Not Related to Your Headaches
Actually, vertigo and headaches are co-symptoms for many different conditions. The most common would be migraines. If you also experience nausea and sensitivity to sounds, lights, and smells during your headache, you could be experiencing vestibular migraines. Another condition that causes headaches and vertigo is post-concussion syndrome. You may not remember getting a concussion, but if you have had a blow to the head or neck, it is possible you were just never diagnosed. Post-concussion syndrome has a long list of other symptoms that can include depression, irritability, insomnia, cognitive difficulties, and more.
Myth 6: Vertigo Will Always Go Away on Its Own
This is usually the case. In fact, the most common form of vertigo (BPPV) usually lasts just a few seconds or minutes at the most. However, some conditions cause vertigo that can last for up to 24 hours. Other rare conditions can lead to permanent vertigo that will not end without intervention. So if you have had a long-lasting bout of vertigo, see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Myth 7: Vertigo Can’t Kill You
You’re never going to see vertigo on a list of conditions that kill people, but only because it isn’t a disease (see myth 1). However, if vertigo causes you to fall, the fall can definitely kill you. And if vertigo is a symptom of a heart attack or stroke, those are often fatal if medical attention isn’t received quickly enough. Don’t ignore vertigo as “harmless” simply because it isn’t the name of a disease that kills people. Saying vertigo can’t kill you is kind of like saying it isn’t that fall that kills you, it’s the landing.
Myth 8: Vertigo Is Just a Part of Aging
While vertigo is certainly more common in older ones that young people, the idea that it is part of the aging process can move someone to ignore getting help that may have been able to provide significant relief. Don’t just write off your vertigo as a sign of age. There may be an underlying factor that can be reversed.
Myth 9: There Is No Natural Way to Get Help for Vertigo
Really, there are plenty of natural ways to get relief. We’re just going to mention one today because it often goes unnoticed. There is a subspecialty of chiropractic care called upper cervical. This is a very precise and gentle form of chiropractic that focuses on the top two bones in the neck. There are many case studies that show the efficacy of upper cervical chiropractic for vertigo patients.
If you are suffering from vertigo, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, you should schedule a consultation. This will help you to discern if upper cervical chiropractic care is right for you. You may find out that vertigo wasn’t due to age at all – it was just related to an old injury that left a misalignment in the upper neck. Some patients have even found themselves completely vertigo-free after receiving the right kind of care.
Latest posts by Dr. Pritchett, D.C. (see all)
- Debunking the Top Vertigo Myths - January 13, 2019
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- 9 Vertigo Disease Myths Debunked - July 8, 2018