Contrary to popular belief, most likely promoted by a particular movie a few decades ago, vertigo is not the fear of heights. It is actually the sensation of spinning. You may feel as if you are spinning around or like the things in the environment around you are spinning. True vertigo always has a rotational component to it. As many as 10 percent of people in the US have vertigo. If you are over 40, you are at higher risk of developing it. Out of every 5 people, 2 will develop vertigo. From 1994 to 2004, 2.5 percent of people visited the emergency room for symptoms of vertigo.
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Vertigo is a balance disorder which occurs due to damage to the inner ear. The sensation of spinning may be strong enough to cause nausea and loss of balance. It differs from dizziness in that dizziness is a feeling of fainting.
Vertigo happens from an imbalance in the way certain areas of the body work, such as hearing, vision, and a sense of location in your environment. Because it’s a specific type of dizziness, vertigo is more of a symptom than a condition. Vertigo has been seen in people with high blood sugar and high cholesterol. Vertigo can impact your ability to perform your daily routines and give you a general feeling of being unwell.
Vertigo gives one a false sense of movement. While it is a symptom itself, it can also have other symptoms that accompany it, such as:
There are two types of vertigo, and the categories are according to their causes.
Let’s look at each one of these categories in depth and try to understand them better.
The labyrinth of the inner ear is made up of tiny organs that allow messages to be sent to the brain in response to gravity. These messages help the brain determine when there is movement from the vertical position. This is why, when you stand upright, you do not immediately lose your balance and fall.
If something disturbs the function of this system, vertigo ensues. It can be due to inflammation that has come about because of a viral infection. The following conditions have a connection to peripheral vertigo:
An inflammation of the vestibular nerve because of a viral infection.
An inflammation of the inner ear labyrinth and vestibular nerve usually due to a viral infection. This nerve has the important job of relaying the motion of the body and its position to the brain.
Thought to be the result of a build-up of fluid in the inner ear, its symptoms include vertigo, tinnitus, and gradual hearing loss. It is most known to affect people in the age range of 40 to 60 years. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that 615,000 people in the US have been diagnosed with this condition. It may result from blood vessel constriction, an autoimmune reaction, or a viral infection.
This refers to a skin growth that happens in the middle ear and usually results from a repeated infection. If it becomes too large, it can cause hearing loss, dizziness, and damage to the ear.
This is the most common form of vertigo and stems from a disturbance in the otolith particles. These are tiny crystals of calcium carbonate in the inner ear fluid that pull on sensory hair cells during movement and stimulate the vestibular nerve, which, in turn, sends signals about the body’s position to the brain. When you have BPPV, endolymph fluid continues to move even when your head has quit moving. It usually impacts older people, and the cause is unknown. BPPV is twice as common in women than in men. It may occur after:
This is due to a problem within the central nervous system. It involves a disturbance in:
Migraines are the most common form of central vertigo. As many as 40 percent of those experiencing migraines have vertigo with them.
Uncommon reasons for central vertigo include:
Here are a few suggestions that may help you see an improvement in vertigo.
Sometimes vertigo is the result of a food sensitivity. Whether the food is triggering a vestibular migraine or is causing your ears to clog up, vertigo can be the result. You may need to keep a food journal to determine what foods are having a negative impact on your health. Additionally, if you have a vestibular condition such as Meniere’s disease, your doctor may recommend a low-sodium diet. This reduces fluid retention in the body and may help limit the overabundance of fluid in the ears linked to Meniere’s. Eating processed food and those that trigger migraines may be one reason you are experiencing vertigo. If you want to see relief, then consider making some serious changes.
Studies show that not only do most of us not get enough vitamin D, but a deficiency also may be linked to positional vertigo. One study revealed that people with vertigo were often very deficient in vitamin D compared to those without vertigo.
When combined, garlic and sesame oil have been seen to relieve an attack of vertigo. Crush two garlic cloves and add to a pan with two teaspoons of sesame oil. Cook until brown in color and strain the oil into a cup. Once cooled, drip two or three drops of this concoction into the ear. Let sit for one minute before draining. Use on both ears.
A flattened pillow can actually be a reason for you to experience vertigo. It can cause you to have a pinched nerve, making you lose precious sleep. This can make you feel dizzy when you wake up. It is recommended that you change your pillow every six months to improve neck posture.
Do you find that you suffer from vertigo when you first wake up in the morning? It could be the way you are twisting your neck in your sleep. Sleeping on your stomach is the worst for your neck because you basically have your head turned to the side all night long.
Not enough sleep can lead to vertigo. Make sure you are getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night. Do not nap during the day. Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom. Keep it cool and dark and limit any lights, even from alarm clocks, while you are sleeping.
Stress can trigger a bout of vertigo. That means everything from your boss yelling at you to having to go into a crowded place when you don’t like being around a lot of people can lead to an episode. That makes good stress coping mechanisms a must for someone who is dealing with this problem. Keep in mind that some of the things people use to cope, like drinking alcoholic beverages or using tobacco, can actually make vertigo worse, so it is necessary to find positive ways to deal with emotional strain. Whether it is relaxing in the tub with a good book, taking a walk with a loved one, or doing some deep breathing and stretching exercises, what works for each of us is different.
One of the most unrecognized causes of vertigo is dehydration. It is one of the earliest signs that you are not taking in enough water. Whether you were out in the heat too long, worked out too hard, or just haven’t grabbed a glass of water in a while, it is important to increase your water intake to see if this is a possible cause of your vertigo. 64 ounces of water per day is the standard recommendation, but if you live in a hot area, work outdoors, or are subject to other factors that could be dehydrating you faster, it is vital to drink even more water than this.
Unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and raw honey are best. They ease blood flow to the brain. Add two parts honey and one part apple cider vinegar. Then take 1 tablespoon of this mixture 2 or 3 times a day to prevent vertigo.
You know that smoking is bad for you, but did you know that it could be making your vertigo worse? Vertigo problems are sometimes related to blood flow. Smoking reduces the size of the smallest blood vessels. Not only does your heart have to work harder to pump your blood, but some parts of the body may not be receiving the full supply they need. If this occurs in certain parts of the ears or the central nervous system, vertigo is one possible result.
We’re going to go back to the importance of blood flow. Exercise does the opposite to your blood vessels as smoking. So you can actually improve your circulation by getting regular exercise each day. Remember to take it easy at first and consult a physician to see how much exercise is safe at your current health levels. Even someone with many health problems can start out with a gentle stretching routine and work your way up from there. You get the added benefit of counteracting stress hormones with the hormones released during exercise. Since stress is a major trigger for vertigo, this is another way that you can improve your situation.
Sit up straight and lower your head forward to touch your chin to your chest, and then begin to rotate your head clockwise slowly three times. Repeat in the opposite direction. This can release muscle spasms and increase blood flow to the brain.
Using an essential oil like lavender and massaging your scalp can do much to calm vertigo. This improves blood circulation, relaxes you, and helps to reduce stress.
Posture can play a vital role in combating a commonly overlooked vertigo cause. When the neck is out of alignment, it can create circumstances in the body that allow vertigo to recur. Therefore, proper posture is vital to keep any existing misalignment from worsening and prevent unnecessary wear and tear that can cause future misalignments.
As we mentioned earlier, neck misalignment can impact various important body functions. More often than not. it stems from a long history of head and neck trauma as well as poor posture. Have you hurt your head or neck several years ago? Do you notice changes in your gait? Does your shoulder or hips feel a bit unlevelled? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you might find it extra helpful to explore Upper Cervical Care. A quick consultation will help you assess if you have misalignment in the Upper Cervical Spine or the atlas and axis bones.
Unknown to many, a seemingly simple misalignment along the topmost section of the spine can trigger a plethora of health issues besides balance problems or spinning sensations. Here's a quick overview of these things:
As you can now clearly see, there is evidence that an upper cervical misalignment can be the unknown underlying cause of a person’s vertigo. How can you rectify the situation? Upper Cervical Chiropractic is a subspecialty that is designed to detect misalignments of the top bones in the neck precisely and to provide safe and gentle corrections. Many patients find that when the upper cervical misalignment is corrected, vertigo grows less severe or even goes away completely.
If you have been suffering from vertigo and you prefer natural and non-invasive remedies, Upper Cervical Care may be a way to find natural relief. Contact an Upper Cervical Chiropractor in your city today to learn more. A no-obligation consultation may be your first step toward meeting your health and wellness goals, including getting control over a recurring vertigo issue. The search feature on this website can help you to find a preferred doctor in your area.
The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.