Dizziness and Vertigo Treatment

  • Treatment

    People who experience dizziness accompanied by double vision, limb numbness, or slurred speech should be brought to the hospital immediately. These symptoms may reflect a potentially fatal stroke or tumor, and should be treated as a medical emergency.

    If you have BPPV, your doctor can teach you some exercises that will gradually dislodge the inner ear debris causing your vertigo.

    Cutting down on your intake of salt may improve vertigo that stems from Meniere's disease. Limiting salt, caffeine, and nicotine is beneficial for vertigo caused by a circulation problem, as these substances impair blood flow.

    To prevent motion sickness in the car, sit facing forward with your eyes focused on a fixed point in the distance. Generally, it is a good idea for anyone who suffers from vertigo to avoid sudden changes in body position, and to forego amusement park rides.

    Consider using a cane if you need greater stability. If you have vertigo, using a cane may improve your ability to walk more steadily and safely.

    Your doctor is the best source of information on the drug treatment choices available to you.

    While most vertigo cases do not require such drastic measures, surgery may be an effective last choice for very persistent cases. Conservative surgical approaches aim to adjust the workings of the inner ear, or to selectively destroy certain functions of the inner ear without damaging hearing. A doctor may try techniques that take pressure off nerves, such as inserting shunts and drainage tubes. One modern technique that preserves hearing involves injecting gentamycin into the middle ear. Selective surgery on the eighth–nerve cures vertigo 90% of the time. Hearing loss occurs in under 10% of cases in which this method was used.

    A more radical approach involves destroying the offending inner ear organ. This procedure, which is called a labyrinthectomy, has a very high cure rate, but results in deafness.

    Small tumors that cause vertigo can be removed using microsurgical techniques. Larger ones require more extensive surgery.

    Some herbs provide relief in mild cases of vertigo; however, be sure to talk with your doctor before you use any natural remedy.

    Gingko biloba is an herb that boosts circulation to the brain. The herb takes 8 to 12 weeks, however, to take effect.

    Ginger may soothe motion sickness on planes, trains, automobiles, and boats. The herb purportedly lessens the dizziness and nausea associated with motion sickness.

    Vertigo can usually be controlled. Once the underlying cause has been determined and the correct treatment initiated, vertigo generally abates.

    If vertigo has affected your balance, your doctor may refer you to a vestibular therapist. A vestibular therapist will evaluate your balance and gait. He or she will also examine your vestibular ocular reflex and feet, and look at how position changes affect you. The doctor will tailor an exercise program for you to do at home.

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