Vertigo refers to the false sensation of feeling off-balance. It is a symptom of many health problems and there are many causes for vertigo.
Since vertigo is a symptom and not a health condition in itself, the first step towards remedy is to understand the underlying health condition that is causing the patient to experience vertigo.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the most common health conditions that can cause the patient to experience vertigo.
Vertigo is most commonly associated with problems relating to the vestibular system, i.e. the system that’s responsible for maintaining balance. In some rare cases, vertigo may be caused due to neurological problems, most commonly affecting the brain stem.
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, is one of the most common health conditions that can cause vertigo.
Patients suffering from BPPV often experience vertigo triggered by changes in the position of their head. BPPV is usually not serious and it can be easily treated by a vertigo specialist or an ENT doctor.
Labyrinthitis is a disorder that affects the vestibular nerves located in the inner ear. Vestibular nerves are responsible for sending information about balance to your brain and labyrinthitis can cause them to become inflamed. If the nerves are inflamed, they are not able to send accurate information and cause vertigo.
- Mal De Debarquement Syndrome (MDMS)
Mal De Debarquement Syndrome, or MDMS, is a very rare vestibular disorder that can cause patients to experience vertigo. Patients who suffer from this disorder continue to feel a sensation of rocking, swaying, or bobbing after a long cruise, flight, or long drive. In some cases, MDMS can also occur spontaneously.
- Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s Disease is an inner ear disorder that most commonly affects young and middle-aged adults. The exact cause of the disease is not known but it is speculated that there the disorder has something to do with improper fluid drainage in the inner ear.
- Vestibular Migraine
Vestibular migraine is a nervous system disorder that can cause chronic vertigo in patients. While it is a form of migraine, it is not necessary that patients would suffer from headaches too that are traditionally associated with migraine. Other symptoms of vestibular migraine include dizziness, balance problems, sensitivity to sound, balance problems, and more.
- Vestibular Neuritis
Vestibular Neuritis is a medical disorder where the vestibular nerves get inflamed and cause the patient to experience vertigo. It is often confused with labyrinthitis, another disorder that causes the vestibular nerve to get inflamed.
However, while labyrinthitis affects other nerves in the inner ear too, vestibular neuritis only affects the vestibular nerve. Thus, hearing loss is also associated with labyrinthitis but not with vestibular neuritis.
- Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumour on the vestibular nerve that is usually slow-growing. Since the nerve is responsible for maintaining balance and sending balance information to your brain, a tumour can cause it to malfunction and send faulty information which causes vertigo.
In order to treat acoustic neuroma, radiation and surgical removal are normally the common options.
Common Remedies for Vertigo
In the majority of vertigo cases, home remedies along with medication can help a lot when it comes to treatment. While it is important to consult with your doctor before trying any of these home remedies, let’s take a look at some of the most common home remedies for vertigo:
- Physical maneuvers
Physical maneuvers like the Epley Maneuver have been proven to be effective against many medical conditions that cause vertigo, like BPPV. It is recommended to ask your ENT specialist to guide you through the maneuvers for the first time and then, you can do them yourself.
Do note that some maneuvers are specifically recommended for certain health conditions and not others which is why it is important to include your doctor in the discussion before committing to doing the maneuvers regularly.
- Ginger Tea
There is some evidence that supports the effectiveness of ginger tea when it comes to treating vertigo. The most common way to consume ginger tea for vertigo is to simply boil the steep ginger root in a cup of water and drink it at least twice a day. Doing so can help in mitigating the symptom of vertigo or at least reducing the intensity of the symptom.
- Almonds and Essential Oils
Another food that is commonly known for helping vertigo treatment are almonds which are rich in vitamins like vitamin A, B, and E. In general, having a healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables is a great way of keeping your body healthy.
Essential oils such as lavender and lemon essential oils can also help when it comes to providing relief to symptoms of vertigo. The essential oils can be inhaled via an infuser or can also be directly applied to areas of the body such as the neck and the chest when dilated with a “carrier” oil.
A bothersome but treatable symptom
Most cases of vertigo are caused by non-serious health conditions, and most cases are treatable. In some rare cases, it might not be possible to completely treat the symptom but it is definitely possible to reduce the symptoms and their intensity.