Vertigo occurs when there is a problem in the part of the body that controls information regarding balance and eye movement. This system is called the vestibular system. The processing of sensory information can be affected by injury or disease. Other vestibular conditions can be linked to environment or genetics.
Seeing as there are so many factors that can contribute to things like vertigo, it can be difficult for experts always to know the underlying cause. Some conditions leading to vertigo can be temporary. A simple cold or flu virus can be enough to inflame the vestibular nerve and trigger vertigo. Once the infection clears, so does the dizziness. Other causes of vertigo can take years to present such symptoms. Head or neck trauma is a good example of this. Months or years may pass before episodes of vertigo begin to appear.
With so many variables, it may be challenging to determine if one has vertigo and what the cause may be. What are some common symptoms generally experienced by vertigo sufferers? What can help relieve symptoms and reduce vertigo?
How Many of These Vertigo Symptoms Can You Relate To?
Here are some of the most common symptoms that either describe vertigo or related symptoms that often accompany it.
- Spinning. Vertigo often has a spinning or rotational aspect to it. Some complain of feeling like the world around them is spinning, while others feel themselves spinning while what’s around them is still. Remember when you were young, the feeling of being spun around or spinning around yourself? Most children find it exhilarating. Unfortunately, when that same sensation strikes as an adult out of nowhere, it can be very alarming. This is especially true if vertigo hits while driving a vehicle, working with machinery, or climbing a ladder.
- Being Off Balance. Following up on the previous description, it is not surprising that feeling off balance is a common complaint for those with vertigo. Think of a time when you almost lost your balance. What is the normal reaction? We tend to reach out to grab hold of something to stabilize ourselves, like a wall or piece of furniture. Vertigo sufferers may have that same thing happen but without the sense of feeling stabilized. Walking straight ahead may be difficult, and you may require the support of a wall or some other aid. The degree of seriousness varies from individual to individual. Laying down for a few minutes or sitting quietly may be enough to regain balance for some. Others may require more assistance.
- Coordination issues. Feeling like you are a bit clumsier than usual can happen when you have vertigo. Tripping, falling, dropping things and the like are not uncommon. It may be recommended to avoid lifting heavy objects or to abstain from driving until you feel better. If the coordination issues do not resolve within a week or two, you may want to consult a physician. They could refer you to a physical therapist to help build up strength and regain some coordination.
- Nausea. That awful twinge where you could vomit, but don’t, is often a companion to vertigo. Being in a moving vehicle, eating, and looking at a computer monitor or screen can all aggravate nausea. While this symptom is not dangerous, it makes for a very unpleasant and sometimes unproductive day. Some have found that sipping peppermint tea helps settle the stomach enough to let the nausea pass.
- Vomiting. This naturally can follow nausea. Vomiting may last a few hours, but make sure to call your doctor if it lasts longer than that. Vomiting for more than a few hours could indicate some issue other than vertigo (such as food poisoning or a stomach virus).
- Neurological issues. There are a number of things experienced by those who get vertigo that stem from neurological problems caused by trauma. Head and neck injuries can lead to damage to the brain and misalignments of the upper spine. Even a concussion that happened years ago can manifest with vertigo. Some vertigo sufferers experience things like speech difficulties.
- Ringing in the ear (Tinnitus). Tinnitus has been described as a ringing, hissing, buzzing, or roaring in the ear. It may not be as serious a symptom, but for those who have it, it can be very annoying. Protecting our hearing is always a good idea, but particularly with tinnitus. Making sure volumes on headphones, televisions, radios, and the like are not too high can help protect your hearing.
- Migraines and headaches. Most people do not usually associate this with vertigo, but research has found that the two are commonly found together. Nausea and dizziness that are prolonged can trigger a headache or migraine as well.
Finding Natural Relief from Vertigo
The symptoms accompanying vertigo listed above are really just a few out of many possibilities. Just about any condition mentioned can be slightly relieved by doing a few practical things. For more extensive relief, some turn to traditional methods while others seek natural remedies for their vertigo and subsequent ailments. One technique that shows promising results is upper cervical chiropractic care.
The techniques used to coax the upper cervical spine back into alignment gently can help greatly with vertigo. Misalignment in that critical region of the spine can have adverse effects on the vestibular system, and other body systems that can manifest as vertigo, among other things. The surprisingly small and quick adjustments made by an upper cervical chiropractor help align the top vertebrae to allow normal function to return. If you suspect you have vertigo, why not set up a consultation and see what benefits you can receive.
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