Vertigo (sometimes considered a subtype of general dizziness) is typically described as a sensation of faintness or inability to maintain normal balance while in a standing or sitting position.
At the best of times, vertigo is a debilitating illness that will make it difficult to carry on with a normal life. However, when ‘attack’ strikes, it makes it hard to do just about anything. That's why it's important to know about home remedies for vertigo.
Even lying down during an attack brings with it a whole set of problems.
Sometimes associated with states of giddiness, mental confusion, nausea, motion sickness, or general weakness (in more severe cases), vertigo typically results from a sudden change in the functioning of the balance mechanisms of the inner ear (technically, the vestibular system) or in the balance structures' connections to the brain.
Of two varieties, geocentric (the feeling that the room is spinning) and egocentric (the feeling that the individual is him/herself spinning), vertigo is known to affect 20—30% of the population at one time or another to varying degrees, and can manifest in individuals of any age and for a variety of reasons.
While a number of conditions can bring on bouts of vertigo including inflammation of the inner ear, Meniere's disease (caused by the buildup of excessive fluid in the inner ear), a vestibular schwannoma or “acoustic neuroma” (a noncancerous, benign growth manifesting on the vestibular nerve), or a condition called “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo” (triggered by a sudden shift of the head position), vertigo is generally a temporary condition that corrects itself with time.
While there are prescribed medical treatments for vertigo, having home remedies to lessen the effects of attacks is imperative. Ultimately, the right home remedies can make vertigo manageable, which will lessen its impact on your day to day life.
In this guide, we will explore several home remedies for vertigo and look at how they can help you if you are suffering.
As one of the oldest recorded maladies known to humankind, a number of natural remedies for vertigo—both of a physically-manipulative and herbal nature—have been utilized for treating vertigo.
It should be noted, however, that since vertigo is not one but a variety of related conditions with varying symptoms and origins, not all remedies work effectively for all conditions. Even so, there are a number of natural remedies for vertigo that have been in common use for centuries—as well as some more recently discovered.
In treating “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo” (the most common type of vertigo - BPPV), the so-called Epley Maneuver has proven quite beneficial for many individuals. To perform this maneuver, the individual begins by placing a pillow on the bed lengthwise.
The individual then sits on the lower end of the pillow, extends the legs straight out in front of them, and then slowly rotates the head to each side—stopping when dizziness occurs. Next, the individual lies down on top of the pillow so that the top edge of the pillow is located just behind the nape of the neck, causing the head to be tilted slightly back and the chin protruding forward. This position is maintained for a few minutes; usually until the entire body fully relaxes.
The general goal of this position is to allow gravity to draw the otoconial structure (organs in the ear sensitive to changes in horizontal movement and particularly active in situations such as riding in an elevator) out of the inner ear. The individual then rolls their entire body onto the non-affected side (while keeping the head as stationary as possible) with the arms folded at the sides, holding this position for three minutes. Then turning their face so that the nose touches the mattress, this position is held for three minutes more.
Returning to a supine position (on the back, face up), the individual then brings the chin to the chest and slowly sits up (with assistance, if necessary). Swinging the legs over the side of the bed, the individual then sits up with the chin still touching the chest, and remains in this position for a few minutes (while the inner ear adjusts).
If the procedure has been successful, vertigo will be gone upon standing.
Although a great many herbal concoctions have been tested through the centuries for their ability to relieve the symptoms of vertigo naturally, four herbs in particular have proven reliable above the others:
While infusions of the fresh, dried herbs are relatively easy to prepare, in that dosage is difficult to accurately compute by this method, dried prepared capsules are generally suggested in the following dosage:
For those unfamiliar with homeopathic methodology, this ancient science of like-cures-like connects naturally-occurring substances with specific symptoms, rather than general disease. For example, for individuals experiencing vertigo when tilting their head forward, prepared borax is prescribed.
To treat nausea and vomiting associated with vertigo, nux vomica (seeds of the strychnine tree) is recommended.
Similarly, for vertigo accompanied by nausea and a cold, clammy feeling, tabacum (from the tobacco plant) is proven effective.
Interestingly, while homeopathic remedies are seldom endorsed by the medical community at large, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine presented evidence that when 105 patients were given the homeopathic remedy Cocculus indicus (fruit of the Anamirta cocculus plant) or the conventional vertigo drug betahistine in double-blind tests, both treatments proved equally effective. And when patients were given the option of using a synthetic or natural remedies for vertigo, nearly half chose the homeopathic natural remedy.
(Note: Vertigo/dizziness can be a symptom of much more serious conditions such as anemia, epilepsy, heart trouble, and diseases of the inner ear, so individuals experiencing persistent or chronic bouts of vertigo should seek professional medical help for testing.)
It might be one of the simplest home cures for vertigo, but ensuring you sleep the right number of hours is imperative. Studies have shown that those suffering from vertigo that
If you are feeling dizzy or nauseous and you can lie down, try to have a nap. Every sufferer will tell you that it’s very hard to sleep with vertigo, especially during a bad patch.
However, if you can, having a nap will most likely remove the immediate issues.
According to many, alcohol pads when sniffed, can almost instantly remove the feeling of nausea. The pads, which are generally used to clean a potentially infected cut before it is covered, can be purchased from just about every pharmacy and even online.
A study conducted showed that 87 per cent of people that used this technique stopped feeling nauseas in less than five minutes. The scientific reason that sniffing these pads can help is because breathing works to reduce nausea as the vomiting centre of the brain is close to the respiratory centre.
Many vertigo sufferers swear by alcohol pads to remove or reduce feelings of nausea.
Hydrogen peroxide, which is used in the treatment of blocked ears, or to remove earwax can also help sudden onset vertigo attacks.
Simply saturate the cotton bud with the hydrogen peroxide solution, lie on your side and drip it into your ear until it is full. Lay on your side for about 5 – 10 minutes or until the popping noise stops, drain the peroxide into the tissue and you should find that the feelings of vertigo have subsided.
Ginger has long been one of the most effective home remedies for vertigo. Chinese sailors many centuries ago used ginger to cure motion sickness. Furthermore, it is often recommended for nausea during pregnancy. Therefore, taking ginger capsules can alleviate the two main symptoms of vertigo.
Unfortunately, you will need to find the right dose of ginger capsules. Many people take 250 milligrams of ginger tables three times a day. In any case, you should never go over what your GP recommends, but some may need to take more than 750 mg a day. At the same time, others can get away with taking less.
The reason why getting the amount right is because when taken in large amounts can cause stomach upset, diarrhoea and heartburn.
As well as the home remedies for vertigo that we have explored, it is important you ensure you follow these simple, but important points to ensure the effects of vertigo are limited:
Minimize your head movements – ensure you do not jolt your head sharply as this could cause an attack. Fix your vision on one object – focusing on a single object will also minimize your head movements.
Try not to read or play games during an attack as your eyes and head will move sporadically.Relax – make sure you learn an effective breathing technique. As mentioned with the alcohol swabs controlling your breathing is important as it can minimize the effects of vertigo.Get fresh air – if you can, open a window.
If you are suffering from feelings of dizziness, nausea/vomiting, light-headedness and loss of balance make sure you seek out professional medical diagnosis as soon as you can.
While highly unlikely, the symptoms commonly associated with vertigo could be something much more serious.
Once diagnosed, steps can be taken to ensure your recovery is quick. Having this list of proven home cures for vertigo will help you to alleviate the symptoms thereby ensuring that the symptoms affect you as little as possible.
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