When you experience a false sense that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning, you could very well be experiencing vertigo. New studies have found that vertigo, dizziness and other balance-related conditions are some of the most common health concerns in adults1Balance Problems and Disorders. National Institute on Aging. (2017). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/balance-problems-and-disorders.. It’s estimated that almost 40% of adults in the United States experience vertigo at least once, and women are more likely to get it2Vertigo. University of California San Francisco – Health. Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/vertigo.. Stats aside, whether you fall within the specific category of sufferers or don’t fit the common criteria, vertigo can be brutal to deal with. Although the off-balance, spinning sensation is rarely a sign of a serious illness, the feeling can make it challenging to do everything and anything – from daily activities to work and everything in between.
Unfortunately, the most common treatment for vertigo is prescription medication but rarely do these address the root cause of the problem. They also come with a long list of potential side effects and can be quite costly, especially if your vertigo is chronic. The good news is that there are numerous natural ways to combat vertigo and dizziness. So, whether this is your first time experiencing “the spins” or you are well-versed in this horrible sensation, this article has you covered with everything you need to know about what you’re experiencing and how to heal it.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off-balance or dizzy. You may feel like you’re spinning or moving, or the environment around you is. Sometimes, the feeling can be hardly noticeable, and other times, it can be so intense that navigating through your everyday tasks can seem impossible.
The most important thing is that vertigo is often a symptom rather than a condition3Vertigo causes and treatment. NHS inform. (2021). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/ears-nose-and-throat/vertigo.. This is why many conventional methods aren’t able to nip the problem at the root cause, as they’re designed to erase or manage your symptoms instead of healing the condition that’s causing them.
Types of Vertigo
There are two main types of vertigo:
- Peripheral vertigo
- Central vertigo
Peripheral vertigo is the most common type of vertigo that is caused by a problem in the inner ear known as the vestibular nerve, which controls your balance.
Central vertigo is a type of dizziness that occurs as a result of a problem in the brain.
Causes of Vertigo
As mentioned, vertigo is often a symptom rather than a condition itself. This is true for both types – peripheral vertigo and central vertigo. However, the causes for each are quite different.
For example, peripheral vertigo is often caused by an inner ear problem, which can be caused by:
- A rapid change in head movement (such as a hit to the head)
- A viral infection of the vestibular nerve
- Excessive fluid buildup in the inner ear (Meniere’s disease)
- Head or neck injuries
The causes for central vertigo are quite different and include things such as:
- Brain tumor
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
Despite being caused by greatly different factors, both types of vertigo can be complicated to deal with, especially when the symptoms are chronic or seemingly not getting better.
Symptoms of Vertigo
The most common symptom of vertigo is, of course, the dizziness and sensation of yourself or your surroundings moving or spinning. However, many additional symptoms can accommodate the dizziness, such as:
- Buzzing in the ear
- Hearing loss
- Involuntary eye movements
- Loss of balance
These symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of minutes to several hours, depending on the cause. It’s also important to mention that there are various factors that can worsen your symptoms, such as extreme stress4Saman, Y., Bamiou, D. E., Gleeson, M., & Dutia, M. B. (2012). Interactions between Stress and Vestibular Compensation – A Review. Frontiers in neurology, 3, 116. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2012.00116.
How is Vertigo Different From Regular Dizziness?
Although vertigo and dizziness can feel quite similar, there are some key differences. The main one is that dizziness creates a false distortion of where you are within space, causing your balance to feel off. On the other hand, Vertigo is more of a spinning sensation of either yourself or your surroundings5Are Vertigo and Dizziness the Same Thing?. Cleveland Clinic. (2019). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-vertigo-and-dizziness-the-same-thing/.. The latter can be extremely debilitating.
Common Treatment for Vertigo
The different types of treatment available for vertigo highly depend on the underlying cause, since vertigo is a symptom of a condition, rather than a condition itself. As such, there are various options that are designed to work differently depending on the root cause of the problem. Because of this, it’s important to seek medical advice from a professional to receive a proper diagnosis. However, to get your healing journey started, here are some of the most common forms of treatment:
- Epley maneuver: head movements to help displace small particles from the inner ear canals
- Medication: antihistamines are a common type of medication used to treat vertigo
- Exercises: simple movements that can restore balance (there are three main methods used: habituation, gaze stabilization and balance training)
Helpful Tips for Healing Vertigo
While many of the treatment options mentioned above have proven to be highly effective for restoring balance and eliminating vertigo, there are many alternative options that can help you tackle vertigo on your own right now. Some of the tips can provide you with quick relief in the midst of a dizzy spell, whereas others work to address the root cause of the problem to eradicate the symptoms for long-term relief. There are even some extra tips on what to do (or avoid doing) when you’re experiencing an episode of vertigo.
Here are some helpful things to add to your healing regime to begin tackling vertigo:
- Sit or lie down as soon as you begin feeling dizzy
- Lie with your eyes closed in a dark room
- Always avoid driving or operating heavy machinery
- Limit caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and salt intake
- Learn how to do repositioning maneuvers, such as the Epley maneuver, semont-toupet maneuver, and brandt-daroff exercise
- Don’t use high doses of aspirin, as it may cause vertigo symptoms to worsen6Another adverse effect of aspirin: bilateral vestibulopathy. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry – BMJ. (2003). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/74/5/691.
- Do some yoga to help regain your balance and coordination and to counteract the effects of vertigo7Yoga for Balance. VeDA. Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://vestibular.org/article/diagnosis-treatment/treatments/yoga-for-balance/.
- Stay hydrated (dehydration can cause symptoms to flare up)8Remedies for Vertigo. WebMD. (2020). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/brain/remedies-vertigo.
- Take gingko biloba extract
- Manage your stress: develop coping strategies and stress release techniques
- Get adequate amount of sleep
- Use essential oils to help soothe symptoms (lavender, ginger, peppermint, spearmint, cardamom, and fennel are popular options)
- Use an online vertigo healing program to learn all of the natural remedies, techniques and tricks that can drastically improve your condition
There’s no denying that vertigo can be extremely overwhelming and even debilitating at times. It can directly impact your quality of life and make it different to do the things you have to do, such as work, and want to do, such as the hobbies you, otherwise, enjoy doing. Fortunately, many treatment options are available to you, many of which can be done right at home. This includes simple strategies, such as using essential oils, performing specific movements that restore balance, and adding some yoga or meditation into your day. However, it is important to seek medical treatment or advice if you are experiencing frequent or chronic vertigo with no relief from natural remedies.
- 1Balance Problems and Disorders. National Institute on Aging. (2017). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/balance-problems-and-disorders.
- 2Vertigo. University of California San Francisco – Health. Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/vertigo.
- 3Vertigo causes and treatment. NHS inform. (2021). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/ears-nose-and-throat/vertigo.
- 4Saman, Y., Bamiou, D. E., Gleeson, M., & Dutia, M. B. (2012). Interactions between Stress and Vestibular Compensation – A Review. Frontiers in neurology, 3, 116. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2012.00116
- 5Are Vertigo and Dizziness the Same Thing?. Cleveland Clinic. (2019). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-vertigo-and-dizziness-the-same-thing/.
- 6Another adverse effect of aspirin: bilateral vestibulopathy. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry – BMJ. (2003). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/74/5/691.
- 7Yoga for Balance. VeDA. Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://vestibular.org/article/diagnosis-treatment/treatments/yoga-for-balance/.
- 8Remedies for Vertigo. WebMD. (2020). Retrieved 17 December 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/brain/remedies-vertigo.