Vertigo and How to Treat it
The word “vertigo” comes from a Latin word meaning “whirling,” a term that captures the sensation of spinning and dizziness that vertigo sufferers experience. Even though their body is not off balance, they feel that they are spinning, or that the world around them is spinning.
These feelings can simply come and go, but in some cases they persist for hours or even days. Other symptoms can include:
- Double vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Ringing ears
- Hearing loss
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Abnormal eye movements
In most cases, symptoms resolve without a need for treatment. However, recurrent episodes of vertigo should be evaluated by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor so the cause can be identified and the correct treatment provided.
What Causes Vertigo?
The most common cause of vertigo is the buildup of calcium deposits in the inner ear, affecting the body’s sense of balance. This can be treated by physical therapy or medication.
Inner ear infections can have a similar effect, causing inflammation of nerves involved in the body’s ability to judge balance. Such infections can also lead to hearing loss, another reason it is wise to seek medical help if the sensation of vertigo does not go away. These can be treated with antibiotics or other medications.
Fluid can build up in the inner ear as a result of an illness called Meniere’s disease. In addition to causing the sensation of vertigo, this can cause ringing in the ears and hearing loss. Meniere’s disease can be relieved by lifestyle changes that reduce pressure in the inner ear.
Can I Treat Vertigo at Home?
There are several home remedies for vertigo that have been demonstrated to have value, but in the case of repeated episodes, you are strongly to consult an ENT specialist to rule out underlying causes that require medical attention.
Common natural treatments include ginger tea, the herb gingko biloba, eating almonds, proper hydration and acupressure. A series of head movements known as the Epley maneuver can be done at home to address calcium buildup and possibly reposition it, but it is best if this first done by the doctor so that it is learned properly – and, more importantly, after the doctor has determined that this treatment is appropriate.
Although the causes noted above account for the great majority (over 90 percent) of vertigo cases, there are other possible causes for prolonged sensations of vertigo. These include:
- Anxiety attacks can cause the symptoms of vertigo.
- A head or neck injury can damage the inner year and cause “post-traumatic vertigo.”
- Some medications have side effects that include dizziness or vertigo, e.g. blood pressure drugs and antidepressants.
- An allergic reaction to dust, pollen, animal dander or food can cause a vertigo attack.
- Persons with syphilis can experience dizziness and hearing loss.
- Changing hormone levels, drops in blood sugar and other effects of pregnancy can cause dizziness or vertigo.
- Hardening of the arteries caused by diabetes can decrease blood from to the brain and lead to vertigo symptoms.
This is not a complete list, but it should be enough to convince you of the value of an evaluation by an experienced ENT specialist.
A Board-Certified ENT Doctor in Los Angeles
A board-certified ENT physician, Dr. Shervin Aminpour is one of the most qualified ENT specialist in Los Angeles. His extensive training in both medicine and surgery enable to him to effectively diagnose and treat conditions that involve the complex structures of the head and neck. If you are suffering from vertigo symptoms, schedule a consultation and get on the road to recovery.