Managing vertigo easily

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Have you ever felt your head spinning and your surroundings going round, round, round? That is vertigo, in medical terms. All of us at one point in our lives have definitely experienced vertigo and it is scary! The sudden spin creates panic and anxiety and all you want that moment is to stop it. Though there are plenty of reasons behind a vertigo attack, the good news is that it is rarely serious. Only 1 out of every 1000 vertigo cases might be due to blood clots in the brain or internal bleeding in the ears. Though a majority of vertigo cases are all because of a head injury, there are several other risk factors that might trigger the spinning movement in the head, says Neurologists.

These might be possible risk factors for an attack:

Clotting in the brain – Head injuries and brain clots are the most common reasons behind a vertigo. Clotting clouds the parts of the brain responsible for maintaining body equilibrium. Such clots can be cleared with medication but some might require surgeries.

Migraine – A severe migraine attack is often preceded by vertigo. Within a few minutes after a person experiences vertigo, he can get a migraine attack. They often go hand-in-hand. In such cases, treating migraine can relieve you from vertigo.

Diabetes – Levels of insulin can often be the reason behind vertigo. If the body is either deprived or receives excess of insulin, the brain is affected, sending the head into dizziness and a spinning motion.

Ear infections – The brain and the entire hearing system are connected very closely and a small disturbance in the either of these can bring in a lot of complications to the body. Ear infections, oedema of the inner lobes, damage to the ear nerves or tiny calcium crystals (canaliths) in the ear drum can develop vertigo.

A single episode of vertigo is usually not treated immediately. Your Neurologist might want to see if it is recurring.

Similar to migraine, the diagnosis and treatment start only after you experience a couple of attacks. Early brain scans, diet recall, blood exams and ear scans are conducted to rule out possibilities. If any of these tests indicate the reason behind your vertigo attack, the doctor proceeds to treat it. Usually, before prescribing medication, doctors teach simple exercises that can be followed at home to treat vertigo. If symptoms still persist, it is definitely time for medication.

Here are a few exercises that can help relieve vertigo. You can start practicing them after initial consultation with your health specialist.

  • Look up and down, slowly moving your head up and down. Then side to side. Move your head right left and then left to right. All these should be done very slowly. Fast movements can aggravate vertigo. Practise at least ten such movements every day.
  • Sit and stand, once with eyes open and then with eyes closed. Sit in a comfortable position first and then slowly stand. Then slowly sit alternating your eyes in an open and closed position. If you feel nauseous or giddy, stop immediately and lie down to your left.
  • Walk up and down the stairs once with eyes closed and then open. Take only a small flight of stairs and always be accompanied by a partner of a family member. Never perform exercises all alone.

These exercises don’t treat vertigo completely. They can only relieve you from sudden attacks. Medication under a doctor’s supervision only can be of great help.

Post medication, there are many things you should follow to prevent vertigo.

  • Stay away from antidepressants, sleeping pills and pain killers. All these medical drugs can sometimes induce vertigo.
  • Do not consume alcohol. Beverages like whisky, brandy, rum, vodka and beer directly hit the brain area and numb it for a certain period of time. This causes headaches and vertigo. Staying away from alcohol is mandatory for vertigo patients.
  • Never skip meals. When the body doesn’t receive enough glucose via food, the brain is deprived of energy and hence loses gravity. Eating a proper and timely diet is the key.