Vertigo can be frightening, particularly if everything starts spinning when you are in a public place! In most cases the symptoms can be self-treated and do not require taking drugs. If you experience the symptoms of vertigo regularly, it's important to go to your doctor to rule out more serious underlying causes.
An inner ear infection (technically called vestibular neuritis), usually the result of a cold - is a common cause of vertigo. One minute you're fine, and the next, all of suddenly you feel dizzy and weak. Usually symptoms clear up naturally within a few days, but your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.
BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) is another common cause of vertigo. Your doctor will show you how to apply the Epley maneuver to cure any dizziness.
1. While sitting up on a bed, turn your head in the direction of the problem ear (so to the left if your left ear is causing BPPV).
2. Lie down on a pillow (or 2 pillows), head turned to the left so that your head drops slightly over the pillow(s). Hold this for 30 seconds.
3. Turn your head to the right and hold for another 30 seconds.
4. The body is turned to the right, so the head and body are now facing the same direction. Hold for 30 seconds.
5. You can repeat this 4 or 5 times until the dizziness has passed.
The aim of this treatment is to dislodge the crystal stones in the 'problem' ear canal which are causing vertigo.
Follow Up Treatment
1. Remain upright for 10 minutes or so after doing the Epley maneuver.
2. Don't bend your head forward or back for the rest of the day (to pick something up from the floor for example).
3. Avoiding sleeping on the problem ear for a few days.
This usually cures about 80 percent of cases. If symptoms recur, simply repeat the process.
Remedies For Vertigo
If you have BPPV, a vitamin D supplement may help (lack of vitamin D increases the risk of falling!).
Vitamin B complex nourishes the nerve endings in the inner ear.
Herbal remedies such ginger root and ginkgo biloba relieve symptoms of nausea.
If you have BPPV, sleep with 2 pillows at night and generally avoid sleeping on the affected side.
If you have an inner ear infection, vitamin A aids recovery (found in foods like sweet potatoes, apricots, pumpkin, eggs, leafy green vegetables and watercress).
People who are very stressed, often have low iron which can trigger vertigo. Foods rich in iron include red meat, eggs and green vegetables.
If you suffer from a yeast infection (thrush), this can be a contributory cause to vertigo. See Candida treatment.
Acupuncture and hypnotherapy is known to be effective.
Consider seeing a cranial osteopath or chiropractor, as sometimes a misalignment in the neck and spine can trigger vertigo.
Reduce your intake of substances that affect blood circulation like alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine.