Vertigo is a symptom known by many people who have experienced it, however; it’s easy to get it confused with other similar feelings and sensations. In fact, there are many myths spread about vertigo that simply aren’t true.
To learn more about vertigo and debunk the myths, read on:
1. Vertigo is a Fear of Heights
Vertigo is the illusion of movement that makes you feel as if the room is spinning. You may also feel like you are spinning.
This is contrary to the popular belief that vertigo is a fear of heights.
If you feel like your surroundings are moving, this is called objective vertigo. If you feel like you are moving, this is subjective vertigo. Vertigo can happen at pretty much any time and is not something that happens only at great heights. A fear of heights is called ‘acrophobia’. Three different types of vertigo include:
- Mild - this is brief and you may feel nauseous. However, vomiting is not present.
- Moderate - you feel like you need to lie down to get rid of the feelings of vertigo. You may vomit occasionally, but you are able to keep fluids down.
- Severe - you still have vertigo even though you are lying down. You are severely vomiting and are unable to keep fluids down.
2. Vertigo is a Medical Condition
Vertigo is more of a symptom than an actual medical condition.
The feeling might be barely noticeable for you, or you may find it difficult to get on with everyday tasks. Vertigo attacks can last for a few seconds and come on suddenly, or they may last a lot longer. Sometimes they can last for several days. You may find that you struggle to walk, feel lightheaded, sick, and vomit. Rather than vertigo being the medical condition itself, it is actually caused by a medical condition, usually a problem in the inner ear, or by a lesion in the brain. However, most of the time, vertigo is brief and harmless.
3. Lightheadedness and Vertigo are the Same Thing
Lightheadedness is a different thing altogether to vertigo, although you may experience them both at the same time. Lightheadedness may make you feel like you are going to faint, but the feeling could subside when you lie down.
Although you may feel dizzy, you may not feel like your surroundings are moving. Vertigo may make you feel like you or your surroundings are whirling, tilting, falling, or off balance. Lightheadedness may be caused by allergies, anxiety, sickness, medication, and other things.
It isn’t unusual to feel lightheaded occasionally.
4. You Don’t Need Medical Treatment With Vertigo
In many cases, it’s a good idea to have your vertigo symptoms evaluated by a doctor. Many cases are harmless, but you should get it looked at just in case.
You may be required to take some medication prescribed to you in order to help. If you’re also experiencing double vision, headaches, weakness, difficulty speaking, abnormal eye movements, and difficulty walking, then you definitely need to be checked over.
The medical treatment you receive will depend on the kind of vertigo diagnosed. You may need:
- Medicine through an IV, patch, or consumed through the mouth.
- A low salt diet. This is especially important for those with Meniere's disease.
- Surgery and an appointment with an Ear, Nose, and throat Specialist.
Other medicines are available, but it depends on your diagnosis. You should always follow up your appointment if you’ve been given a new diagnosis of vertigo to ensure that the condition is improving with treatment.
5. You Can’t Use Home Remedies to Help Vertigo
Getting treatment from the doctor isn't the only option.
You may also like to use home remedies to improve your vertigo, once you have been diagnosed. There are a few natural home remedies that can help to ease off your vertigo, including; a vitamin D supplement, herbal remedies like ginger root, acupuncture, and drinking plenty of fluids.
As well as certain home remedies, there are things you can do in day to day life to minimize the risk of vertigo. These include:
- Exercises to help your symptoms.
- Sleeping with your head raised slightly using more pillows.
- Being more cautious on stairs and escalators.
- Getting up slowly.
- Avoiding bending over to pick up items.
- Moving your head carefully.
- Doing exercises that are thought to trigger vertigo so you can become accustomed to it. The symptoms should reduce automatically, but you should only do this after advice from a professional.
6. Vertigo Won’t Go Away By Itself
Although it’s advisable to seek medical advice, some kinds of vertigo will go away all by themselves, with no form of medication.
If somebody tells you that your vertigo won’t go away without any potions or lotions, don’t listen and consult a doctor instead. Many types of vertigo are not serious and you’ll be just fine.
7. Labyrinthitis and Vertigo are the Same Thing
Labyrinthitis is the word used to describe chronic dizziness, which is thought to be harmless. Because of this, many people compare it to vertigo and even claim that it is the same thing. It isn’t.
Vertigo is the illusion of movement, while labyrinthitis is dizziness caused by inflammation of the labyrinth, and is very rare. These two symptoms should not be confused.
8. Vertigo Has Nothing to Do With the Ears
Most commonly vertigo is caused by an imbalance in the inner ear. It may also have something to do with the brain, but imbalances within the ear are the most popular reason for this symptom.
You may experience vertigo because of conditions like: BPPV, Meniere's disease, migraines, and vestibular neuronitis. They are all conditions to do with the ear.
Additional symptoms with these conditions may be hearing loss, tinnitus, and a high temperature.
Some more myths and facts to complete our investigation:
- Vertigo is life-long and will never end – Myth
- Problems with balance mean issues with inner ear – Fact
- If you don't lose hearing then there's no issues with inner ear – Myth
- Vertigo will go away if you stay still and don't move – Myth
There you have them; the 8 most common myths about vertigo, debunked! Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what vertigo is, what it isn’t, what to do, and what not to do. Thanks for reading!