It is a well-known fact that smoking is a vice that significantly affects the body. If done excessively, it can destroy your lung function and cause irreversible health problems and conditions like lung cancer. As harsh and severe as that is already, the detrimental effects of smoking do not stop there. It can also induce problems that, although not as life-threatening, can bring long-term complications and discomfort to those affected.
In this blog, we will discuss the connection between smoking and peripheral vestibular disorder. We will also discuss if there are notable differences in its effects on people depending on the gender and the most recommended source of vertigo relief that can help with a peripheral vestibular disorder long-term.
Peripheral Vestibular Disorder Refresher
The peripheral vestibular disorder is a condition that often results from the inner ear. This can happen when there’s pressure on the nerve that connects the inner ear and brain or when you have too much fluid in the inner ear. This phenomenon causes dizziness, imbalance, and vertigo, which can make you feel as if you’re spinning when in reality, you aren’t.
The vestibular system includes a fluid-filled chamber that contains tiny hair cells that sense motion and acceleration and send signals to the brain. When these hair cells get damaged, they can trigger peripheral vestibular disorders, such as:
BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)
This is the most common type of PVD, which causes dizziness or spinning sensations when you move your head. The symptoms manifest because of displaced fragments of calcium carbonate crystals.
This condition causes hearing loss and severe vertigo episodes that last several hours or days. It mostly develops because of abnormal fluid buildup inside the inner ears.
It arises from the inflammation of the vestibular nerve in your inner ear. Studies note that it can trigger vertigo and nausea/vomiting. However, unlike the other two examples of PVDs we listed above, vestibular neuritis can improve after the infection clears.
Warning Signs of Peripheral Vestibular Disorder
As with every condition, peripheral vestibular disorders show signs and symptoms. These signs are what doctors use to diagnose what form of PVD a patient has. If you suspect having a peripheral vestibular disorder, we strongly recommend looking out for the following indications:
- Difficulty with walking or standing up straight
- Nausea/ vomiting
- Hearing loss/ringing in the ears
- Pain behind one or both ears
- Light-headedness/ dizziness when sitting up quickly after lying down for long periods
How Is Smoking-induced Peripheral Vestibular Disorder Different Based On Gender?
Several studies have established the connection between smoking and peripheral vestibular disorder in men. However, there aren’t enough data to explain the link of the two issues in women. As a result, men and women have very different experiences with peripheral vestibular disorders and must adjust their approach to achieve vertigo relief.
Studies show that women are much more likely to develop peripheral vestibular disorder than men. However, a recent study found that smoking men over 45 are also at high risk for developing this condition. Women tend to develop them later in life, while men start experiencing symptoms around the same time they reach middle age, especially when they smoke.
Generally, men are more likely to smoke – due to culture, tradition, and as a means of belongingness – which is a major contributing factor in causing peripheral vestibular disorders. Smoking increases blood pressure which increases pressure on nerves in the neck and the head region. Consequently, it can increase one’s risk and chances of developing PVD along with all its debilitating symptoms, such as vertigo.
Naturally, if you want to curb your vertigo symptoms, you will find it helpful to start eliminating your smoking habits. You can take advantage of tips used by people who quit smoking. Some of these tips include:
- Explore nicotine replacement therapy
- Manage your smoking triggers (stress, boredom, alcohol consumption, parties, etc.)
- Take advantage of relaxation techniques
- Get in touch with support groups
- Engage in physical activities
- Use lozenges or gums designed explicitly for smoking cessation
- Replace your smoking habits with something healthy and productive
- Discard visual triggers of your smoking habits (ashtrays, lighters, etc.)
- Seek help from your loved ones and professionals
Lasting Peripheral Vestibular Disorder and Vertigo Relief
Suppose you’re concerned about developing a peripheral vestibular disorder or have been diagnosed with one already. In that case, you might find it helpful to consider seeing an upper cervical chiropractor in your area!
An upper cervical chiropractor will help you check for cervical spine misalignments and adjust them accordingly to relieve pressure on your brainstem and nerves. It can also help improve fluid drainage in your inner ear, helping you reduce the likelihood of problems like Meniere’s.
Furthermore, upper cervical chiropractic care can help you address other underlying conditions and symptoms associated with PVDs. Hopefully, this will help you increase your chances of enjoying long-term vertigo relief.
If you want to learn more about spinal health, conditions that can dampen your quality of life, and how chiropractic care can help, we encourage you to stay tuned to our vertigo-related blog posts.
Additionally, we strongly recommend taking advantage of the UCA Doctors Portal – a thorough list of all the accredited and trusted chiropractors in the United States. Our system will let you find a chiropractor near you in just a few clicks.
By eliminating your smoking habits and seeking timely upper cervical chiropractic adjustments, you can begin enjoying a healthier and spinning-sensations-free life.