Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or that the room is spinning around you.
This sensation can range widely from a slight wobble to so unbalanced you’re unable to carry out everyday activities.
Many people think vertigo is a fear of heights, but that’s actually called acrophobia. Vertigo is a range of symptoms that can last from a second to hours, days, or even months.
It’s often short-lived and clears itself up, but for some, the symptoms stay with them until the underlying cause is treated.
Peripheral vertigo is caused by an inner ear problem. It’s the most common reason for vertigo.
Here are a few of the ways your inner ear can disrupt your balance and cause vertigo.
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which is a buildup of crystals in the inner ear fluid
- Labyrinthitis, which is an inner ear infection
- Vestibular neuronitis, which is the inflammation of the vestibular nerve
Vertigo can also be triggered by a dysfunction in the brain or central nervous system, which is called central vertigo; a head injury; migraines; Meniere’s disease; and certain medicines.
Very rarely, vertigo is caused by a stroke, brain tumor, or multiple sclerosis.
The Symptoms of Vertigo
The main symptom of vertigo is dizziness and the feeling of spinning. Symptoms can gradually creep up on you or suddenly appear out of the blue, even if you are sitting still.
The symptoms of vertigo include:
- Dizziness and spinning
- Swaying and feeling unbalanced
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jerky eye movements
- Ringing sensation in your ears
Sufferers can experience just one or all of these symptoms, depending on the root cause of their vertigo. Those experiencing long-term vertigo are more at risk of depression and anxiety, too.
If you are experiencing vertigo with a high temperature, feeling sick, and have a severe headache, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Vertigo?
Anyone can develop vertigo, but there are risk factors that can increase your likelihood, such as being a woman, being over 50, taking medications, experiencing a head injury, being very stressed, experiencing ear infections, and having family members who suffer from vertigo.
There are also diseases that cause vertigo symptoms, such as Meniere’s and multiple sclerosis.
Can You Prevent Vertigo?
Vertigo is not easy to prevent, but you can increase your chances by living a healthy lifestyle. This means drinking safe limits of alcohol, quitting smoking, and eating low-fat, healthy foods.
Experts also suggest moving your head carefully, getting out of bed slowly, avoiding overexercise, keeping stress to a minimum, and getting plenty of sleep—all issues that can upset the delicate inner ear balance.
Folks who have long-standing illnesses that provoke vertigo can manage the symptoms with anti-nausea medication and water tablets to prevent fluid buildup.
The Best Natural Ways to Fight Vertigo
Often, vertigo will clear up of its own accord, but that isn’t much solace for those struggling with its unpleasant effects.
Here are some natural ways to fight vertigo.
1. Body and Head Maneuvers
The American Academy of Neurology suggests that certain poses and head movements quell BPPV vertigo. These movements encourage crystals away from the inner ear and help clear sinuses that can lead to dizziness as well.
The Epley Maneuver is popular and well-documented.
The Epley Maneuver
Sit on the edge of your bed. Turn your head not quite as far as your shoulder, then quickly lie on your back. Wait 30 seconds and then turn your head 90 degrees in the opposite direction. Wait 30 seconds. Roll in the direction your head is now facing, and wait 30 seconds before slowly sitting up.
You should begin facing the direction your vertigo comes from.
Keep doing this until your vertigo has subsided.
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Another recommended maneuver is the half somersault.
Sit on your knees, straighten your back, and tilt your head to look at the ceiling. Then, put your forehead on the floor as if you were attempting a forward roll. Turn your head so your ear faces upward and sit upright with your head still tilted.
Many forms of yoga can help dizziness associated with vertigo. It also calms anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and clears lymph from your sinuses.
Some poses may aggravate vertigo, so speak to your instructor first and stop if you feel worse.
3. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Experts think that being low in antioxidants can contribute to vertigo.
Adjusting your diet so it contains more antioxidants from fruits such as berries, green leafy vegetables, oily fish, seeds, and nuts can help.
Certain herbs can also boost your antioxidant levels. Include turmeric, which is a proven anti-inflammatory; cayenne; ginkgo biloba; and ginger into your everyday diet.
This will help keep blood sugar under control and prevent type 2 diabetes as well as fending off vertigo symptoms.
4. Reduce Stress
Stress makes us ill in so many ways, and it can provoke vertigo. The stress of dealing with vertigo will also increase your stress levels, making it a vicious cycle that’s hard to escape.
Try calm activities, such as yoga or a soothing, warm bath with relaxing essential oils.
5. Exercise Regularly
It’s tough exercising when you feel dizzy and sick, but research indicates that it can help you recover from vertigo.
If your symptoms are mild, consider aerobic exercise; if they’re more severe, try weight resistance, walking, or a stretching class. Exercising with a friend can help keep you safe if vertigo tends to strike out of nowhere.
Exercise helps move along lymph fluid, which drains infection from the body, and it keeps your weight at a healthy level. The trick is to exercise consistently.
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the best ways to deal with a vertigo attack is to lie down and nap, but making sure you get enough sleep at night is essential, too.
It’s easier said than done when your world is spinning, so elevate your head with two pillows and try to relax your body and mind. Relaxation is better than nothing.
7. Sniff Alcohol
Sadly, drinking alcohol won’t help vertigo, but some people find that sniffing medical alcohol can shift nausea associated with vertigo.
Pack a few alcohol-soaked pads in your bag if you need to go out. Peppermint, lemon, and lavender are also great essential oils that help tackle nausea.
Acupressure practitioners use two main pressure points to help cure vertigo. They are situated on your forehead between the eyebrows and on the pulse point of your wrist.
Try massaging and pressing these areas when vertigo strikes and during an episode to reduce its severity.
If vertigo is making your life miserable, visiting a professional may help reduce your symptoms.
Curing Vertigo the Natural Way
There’s no denying that vertigo is a nasty symptom that makes sufferers feel dreadful.
It’s important to discover the underlying cause so treatment can start as soon as possible, but experimenting with these natural ways to deal with vertigo can really help set you on the road to recovery.