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How to Treat Vertigo

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Authored by Donna Ryan in Diseases
Published on 10-13-2009

Vertigo or dizziness usually is the result of an inner ear disturbance or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BBPV) and can last from a couple seconds to a few minutes. BBPV, the most common form of vertigo, can also cause the patient to become lightheaded and nauseous as well.

To treat any type of vertigo though you first must determine what the actual cause of the vertigo is. Sometimes vertigo can be caused by taking a certain medication. Therefore, reducing the dose can effect a change.

On the other hand, if the vertigo is related to BBPV which is caused by crystals of calcium carbonate (otoconia) accumulating in the posterior semicircular canal, then one maneuver has been proven to be helpful in this regard.

In this instance, the patient can benefit from a canalith repositioning procedure or Epley maneuver.

In this particular maneuver, the patient executes a number of movements to transport the ear crystals out of the posterior semicircular canal into another inner ear canal for eventual saturation by the body. This maneuver has proven to have a high success rate for vertigo sufferers with this condition.

Another type of therapy for vertigo is VRT or vestibular rehabilitation therapy. The objective of this treatment is to reduce dizziness and regain normal functioning of the vestibular system thereby preventing falls and recovering balance. The idea of VRT is to help the patient adapt in such a way that they can counteract the symptoms of vertigo.

Success variables depend on the patient’s age, motor skills, strength and cognitive ability. Under this treatment, the vertigo sufferer practices prescribed movements a number of times during the day at home until balance can be retained when moving the head and eyes and while walking. This daily regimen is combined with periodic visits to a physical therapist under a doctor’s directive.

In extreme cases, surgery is normally recommended which involves insertion of a plug in the inner eye to correct the problem. This type of procedure normally has an extremely high success rate.

If vertigo is the result of labyrinthitis, rest in a dark room is recommended. Labyrinthitis is a disorder to the ear that results in swelling of the inner ear. It’s commonly the result of an ear infection or can occur as the aftermath of an allergy or from taking certain medications.

This condition usually, in most, instances subsides so then the resulting vertigo does too.

In cases where the vertigo patient becomes nauseous, antiemetic drugs are prescribed. Such drugs are often recommended to reduce the symptoms associated with migraine, labyrinthitis, inner ear disorders as well as motion sickness. If vertigo is a result of Meniere’s disease, then both antihistamines and antiemetic medicines are recommended to lessen symptoms.

A quiet environment is essential for the sufferer of vertigo as noise can exacerbate the problem. Therefore, resting and relaxing in a dark and still room can do a lot in the way of ameliorating any symptoms.

Vertigo can be treated with a number of drugs as well. If the vertigo is caused by poor circulation, aspirin is suggested. Other than that, treatments are rendered through intravenous means, given orally or introduced by skin patches. Antibiotics are prescribed in the instance of bacterial infections associated with the disease. Otherwise, vertigo is normally treated with Meclizine hydrochloride, Promethazine hydrochloride, Diazepam and Diphenhydramine.

Alternative treatments include ginkgo biloba and ginger. Ginkgo biloba is a herb that has been demonstrated to reduce the impact of vertigo when taken daily as a supplement. Ginger is helpful in the treatment of the nausea which is associated with vertigo. Like Ginkgo biloba, it can be taken as a daily supplement as well.

If you suffer from vertigo, determine its root cause. Therefore, you can best assess which treatment option is the best for you.

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