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  • Easy-to-digest articles written to explain complex issues related to vertigo and other types of dizziness

  • Determine possible causes of your current symptoms and narrow down your next steps

  • Treat your issue at home or learn about professional medical treatment possibilities

  • Enjoy clarity and actually understand complicated topics with articles written with that purpose in mind

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Here you will find (almost) everything about your dizziness, migraine, lightheadedness, vertigo, and much more. Every article is written in a conversational style so anyone can understand even the most complicated health issues. You will be able to determine possible causes of your condition which are connected to certain symptoms. You can choose ways to treat your issue at home, learn about professional medical treatment methods, and become aware of everything in between. We've prepared an easy-to-digest articles explaining complex medical issues and packed them into four useful categories.

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ready to see a doctor? Be prepared.

So, what's vertigo?

Vertigo describes an illusion of movement that you or your environment is spinning.

It differs from dizziness, which occurs without relation to motion or position, or motion sickness, which is a feeling of lack of equilibrium. This should not be confused with fainting either or lightheadedness symptoms.

First, we will start by clearing a misconception.

Vertigo in medical terms does not mean a fear of heights. Vertigo is actually a specific kind of dizziness.

When should you see a doctor?

Rarely dizziness hits people and passes off. But there are times where dizziness is a cause of concern and requires contacting your doctor. Contact your doctor if you are experiencing any recurrent, unexplained or severe case of dizziness.

You should seek emergency medical aid if you are experiencing severe dizziness or vertigo accompanied by any of the following:

  • A new, different or a severe headache
  • Your neck is very stiff
  • Experiencing trouble speaking
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Have blurred vision
  • Feeling weakness if your leg or arm
  • Rapid slow heart rate or chest pain
  • Facing difficulty in walking or unable to stand properly
  • Loss of consciousness
  • A significant head injury

Preparing for your doctor’s appointment

There are excellent chances that your General Practitioner will be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your dizziness. However, in some cases, a visit to an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) specialist or a neurologist might be required.

The doctor will probably ask you the following questions in order to proceed with identification and treatment:

  • Are spells of dizziness continuous or do they occur in episodes or spells?
  • If you are experiencing dizziness in episodes, how long do they last?
  • What is the frequency of your dizziness episodes occurring?
  • When do you experience dizziness, and what potentially triggers it?
  • When you are dizzy “does the room spin” or do you feel like “you are spinning”?
  • Does a loss of balance accompany dizziness?
  • Are you hearing a “ringing” in your ears or a feeling of “fullness” or trouble hearing?
  • Is vision blurred?
  • Does the dizziness increase if you move your head?
  • What if any, medication, vitamins or supplements you are taking?
  • Any existing health condition or symptoms, seemingly unrelated to dizziness. For example, you are feeling increasingly anxious or depressed
  • Any recent life changes or new stress factors.

 

Testing and diagnosis

Usually, diagnosis is simple and straightforward. To identify what is the cause of your symptoms you doctor may ask you to tip your head back or lie down on a particular side in the exam room.

The additional tests, if required are:

  • Eye movement testing

Your doctor will observe the path of eyes when they are following a moving object.You may be also me made to take a “caloric test”. In this, the movement of the eye is tested when cold and warm water is placed in your ear canal at different times.

  • Posturography testing

This is a check of your balance system in order to identities which parts are working and which aren’t.

You will be asked to stand on your bare feet on a platform and asked to keep your balance under various conditions.

  • Rotary-Chair testing

This test is also designed to check your vestibular and brainstem system, components which contribute to maintaining balance.

In this test, you are placed in a computer-controlled chair that moves quite slowly in a full circular motion. At faster speed option, it moves back and forth in a very minimal arc.

  • MRI

This is required in very few cases. MRI is used to rule out the possibility of “acoustic neuroma”, a non-cancerous brain tumor or any other abnormality causing vertigo.

 

Symptoms and Vertigo Treatment

Treatment is decided after establishing the cause of your vertigo and the symptoms that have manifested.

  • BPPV (Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo)

[To learn more about BPPV read our guide here]

For BPPV there is a simple procedure which involves maneuvering the position of your head. This is called “canalith repositioning”, or Epley Maneuver

This is effective after one or two treatments. You will learn them from a physical therapist and continue them at home.

The doctor may also prescribe you with “meclizine” and “diazepam”, or over-the-counter “dimenhydrinate” in order to provide relief from nausea and dizziness.

  • Meniere’s disease

[To learn more you can read an article by vestibular.org]

In its treatment, the aim is to reduce the body’s retention of fluids. This is done through Diuretic use and diet changes like low-salt (salt leads to water retention). Sometimes injections through the ear drum or surgery may also be recommended.

[To learn more you can read an article by vestibular.org]

To deal with Vertigo that arises due to Vestibular Migraine you doctor will first help you with identifying the triggers for it. Changes in diet, stress managing, sleep and exercise will be recommended to help deal with the triggers.

Also, medicines might be prescribed to help deal with nausea and vomiting. There are also exercises to help your body deal better with motion, known as vestibular rehabilitation.

  • Anxiety Disorders

When your dizziness results from anxiety disorders the usual vertigo treatment recommended are medications and psychotherapy, alone or in combination.

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