While some vertigo is self-limited and may be treated with medications, vertigo from BPPV or labyrinthitis is often treated with physical therapy. Using Epley maneuver, the head is taken through a variety of positions and manipulated to clear debris (crystals) from the semicircular canals and to reduce the inflammation that the debris causes.

However, there's a whole range of possible ways to treat your vertigo symptoms. Below, I've listed 5 main types of dealing with vertigo (particularly, Benign Positional Vertigo).

No active BPPV treatment (wait/see):

If you decide to wait it out, certain modifications in your daily activities may be necessary to cope with your dizziness. Use two or more pillows at night. Avoid sleeping on the "bad" side. In the morning, get up slowly and sit on the edge of the bed for a minute.

Avoid bending down to pick up things, and extending the head, such as to get something out of a cabinet. Be careful when at the dentist's office, the beauty parlor when lying back having

Symptoms tend to wax and wane. Motion sickness medications are sometimes helpful in controlling

BPPV has often been described as "self-limiting" because symptoms often subside or disappear within 2 months of onset. BPPV is not life-threatening. One can certainly opt to just wait it out.

HOME-BASED REMEDIES AND EXERCISES

treatment for vertigo

Home exercises are often a vital part of treatment for vertigo. 

To help relieve benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), your doctor, audiologist or physical therapist may treat you with a series of movements known as the canalith repositioning procedure.

Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers is s specialized form of VRT (Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy) that is created to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). 

This treatment is often referred to as the Epley maneuver and involves a series of specifically patterned head and trunk movements to move tiny displaced otoliths to a place in the inner ear where they can’t cause symptoms. 

Appropriate VRT exercises will be assigned by the physical or occupational therapist to be performed at a prescribed pace, along with a progressive fitness program to increase energy and reduce stress.

There are three treatments of BPPV that are usually performed in the doctor's office.

All treatments are very effective, with roughly an 80% cure rate.

  1. EPLEY MANEUVER
  2. SEMONT MANEUVER
  3. BRANDT-DAROFF 

If your doctor is unfamiliar with these treatments, you can find a list of clinicians who have indicated that they are familiar with the maneuver from the Vestibular Disorders Association.

Performed in your doctor's office, the canalith repositioning procedure consists of several simple and slow maneuvers for positioning your head.

  1. The goal is to move particles from the fluid-filled semicircular canals of your inner ear into a tiny bag-like open area (vestibule) that houses one of the otolith organs (utricle) in your ear where these particles don't cause trouble and are more easily resorbed.
  2. Each position is held for about 30 seconds after any symptoms or abnormal eye movements stop. This procedure is usually effective after one or two treatments.
  3. After the procedure, you must avoid lying flat or placing the treated ear below shoulder level for the rest of that day. For the first night following the procedure, elevate your head on a few pillows when you sleep.
  4. This allows time for the particles floating in your labyrinth to settle into your vestibule and be resorbed by the fluids in your inner ear.
  5. On the morning after your in-office procedure, your restrictions will be lifted and you'll begin self-care as directed by your doctor.

Your doctor likely will have taught you how to perform the canalith repositioning procedure on yourself so that you can do it at home before returning to the office for a recheck.

See other blog posts about home treatment below:

Click here for vertigo exercises and physical therapy

Click here for natural remedies for vertigo

New: Click here for vertigo treatment with interactive exercise games

MEDICATION

The use of medication in treating vestibular disorders depends on whether the vestibular system dysfunction is in an initial or acute phase (lasting up to 5 days) or chronic phase (ongoing).
Dramamine as Treatment for Vertigo

Dramamine or Dimenhydrinate is an antihistamine commonly prescribed in order to prevent and treat motion sickness (emesis) and vertigo.

Medications like diazepam (Valium) and meclizine (Antivert) are used to decrease inflammation within the vestibular system.

Some patients are placed in a soft collar to limit a range of motion of their heads while vertigo gradually resolves.

If there is concern that there is a viral infection causing the labyrinthitis or neuritis, antiviral medications like acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) may be considered.

Patients with acoustic neuroma or other structural problems of the ear may require surgery. Patients with central causes of vertigo need further investigation and treatment will be tailored to their specific underlying diagnosis.

DIETARY ADJUSTMENTS

Many people with Ménière’s disease, secondary endolymphatic hydrops, and migraine-associated dizziness find that certain modifications in diet are helpful in managing their disorder. 

Avoidance of non-dietary substances such as nicotine and some types of medications may also reduce symptoms. 

Here's a great article to help you build your best diet to treat vertigo.

TALK THERAPY - COUNSELING

Symptoms of vestibular disorders are invisible and unpredictable. 

This does not mean that they are imaginary, but that they often contribute to a wide range of psychological impacts. 

People who have a vestibular disorder often need support and may benefit from counseling to cope with lifestyle changes, depression, guilt, and grief that comes from no longer being able to meet their own or others’ expectations.

SURGERY

When medical treatment isn't effective as a treatment for vertigo and other symptoms caused by vestibular system dysfunction, surgery may be considered. The type of surgery performed depends upon each individual's diagnosis and physical condition. 

Surgical procedures for peripheral vestibular disorders are either corrective or destructive. 

The goal of corrective surgery is to repair or stabilize inner ear function. The goal of destructive surgery is to stop the production of sensory information or prevent its transmission from the inner ear to the brain.

In very rare situations in which the canalith repositioning procedure isn't effective as BPPV treatment, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure in which a bone plug is used to block the portion of your inner ear that's causing dizziness.

The plug prevents the semicircular canal in your ear from being able to respond to particle movements or head movements in general. The success rate for canal plugging surgery is greater than 90 percent.

Post by:

Pavel Kotlykov

Hi! I'm the creator of this website. It's the project of my heart. I intend to share what I've learned to bring my own life to balance. I've been educating myself for the past several years in order to understand a bigger picture with research, interviews, and many self-experiments. Dizziness is only a surface symptom of a very complex ocean of underlying imbalances. Causes are always deeply interconnected so we cannot change anything while we view the problem separate from our lifestyle, emotional intelligence, and capacity to remain mentally stable. Yes, we must address physical issue as soon as possible but it is immensely unwise to leave it there. I know that this idea of holistic and inclusive approach might seem incomprehensible for many. But I believe that until we realize and accept that every part of our life is connected to every other part, and to all, we will be chasing our own tail of treating the surface. I hope you found what you've been looking for. If yes, please consider subscribing to our newsletter further down this page. If you haven't found an answer, check out other blog posts here, or leave a comment below.

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