Thursday, January 31, 2013

Remedies For Vertigo

Spinning Vertigo

Vertigo is a medical condition in which the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the inner ear, eyes, and muscles. The patient feels dizzy or lightheaded due to an impaired sense of balance and equilibrium. Vertigo comes from the Latin word "vertere," which means "to turn." Patients may feel the room spinning or that they are spinning themselves. Although there is no magic cure, there are known remedies that will help reduce the discomforts.

The Basics

Vertigo can strike suddenly, posing symptoms for minutes to hours, and is not an illness in itself, but a symptom of another disorder. There are many different disorders that can include vertigo. Along with dizziness and spinning, vertigo is sometimes accompanied by nausea, abnormal eye movements and hearing loss. Conclusions as to what is causing a patient's vertigo may be diagnosed by doctors after performing a battery of tests.


There are medications that can be taken orally, patches on the skin, or by intravenous injection. The most common drugs for vertigo include meclizine hydrochloride (Antivert), diazepam (Valium), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), promethazine hydrochloride (Phenergan), and scopolamine transdermal patch (Transderm-Scop). These medications should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor.

Lie Down and Focus

If you begin to feel the symptoms of vertigo, find a place to lie down, propping your head on pillows, and focus on a stationary object in the room. Looking at a still object will help the brain desensitize from the spinning and the symptom should pass in a short amount of time.

Epley Maneuver and Vestibular Exercises

Sometimes vertigo is caused by the displacement of calcium crystals called otoliths, which line the inner ear membranes. This is commonly seen in Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). The Epley Maneuver is a series of head movements performed by professionals that can help reposition the crystals in the inner ear canals and relieve the symptoms of vertigo.

Vestibular exercises are positional changes that are taught to patients in hope of retraining the brain to compensate for feelings of disequilibrium (loss of balance). These exercises are performed daily to relieve vertigo and keep it from coming back.


The fluid that bathes the inner ear is called endolymph and must contain stable concentrations of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride. In order to regulate fluid balances in the inner ear, dietary modifications are necessary. It is imperative to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water daily. Avoid foods and beverages that have high concentrations of sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol.

There are also non-dietary triggers that can increase symptoms of vestibular disorders, such as aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and nicotine.

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