Have you ever stood up too fast and felt like the entire world around you was spinning? That is what people with Vertigo experience to different degrees. For some, the Vertigo only lasts for a few minutes. For others, like those with Meniere’s Disease, it can last a whole day or longer. The longer a Vertigo episode lasts, the more likely it is that some injury may ensue.
Vertigo Is More than Just Dizziness
Our sense of balance has a lot of elements to it. There’s your outer ear canal through which sounds travel to your eardrum. The eardrum transmits those sounds through the bones of your inner ear to a nerve which then relays that information to your brain. Along with this, there are canals in your inner ear that provide more detailed orientation, especially our sense of direction. When any of these elements get out of whack, Vertigo can occur.
Vertigo is far more than just a sense of spinning or dizziness. And while vertigo happens when a person rolls over or turns their head quickly, Vertigo can happen when you are lying still in bed.
Most people experience a feeling like they may faint. The typical dizziness of Vertigo can make people nauseous to the point of vomiting. Some with this condition have abnormal eye movements. People with underlying conditions like Meniere’s disease may also have tinnitus (ringing in one ear) and some level of hearing loss during a Vertigo attack.
If any of these symptoms has accompanying weakness in one side of the body it could be the sign of a stroke, so please seek immediate attention.
Meniere’s and Vertigo Causes
There are two types of vertigo. Peripheral vertigo is more severe and begins with inner ear problems. Central Vertigo begins in the brain or brain stem.
Peripheral Vertigo may come from an inner ear infection. It also sometimes develops when crystals in your inner ear move causing small hairs in the canal irritation. For people with Meniere’s related vertigo, the key culprit is abnormal levels of fluid in the inner ear causing vertigo symptoms.
With Central Vertigo something in the brain causes vertigo symptoms. Besides the dizziness that one experiences with Peripheral Vertigo, this condition may include the inability to walk properly during an attack, slurred speech, and vision problems.
It’s thought toxins in the brain result in this problem. Kidney failure can cause them. Alternatively, there may be neurological problems causing vertigo. In either type of vertigo, it’s common to have a CT scan or MRI, along with a physical, hearing tests and reviews of your medical history to rule out underlying problems or a different ailment like Meniere’s Disease.
Other causes for your vertigo symptoms can include stroke, tumor, blood sugar levels, medications, dehydration, anxiety, heat exposure, head or neck injury, allergies, migraines, and Multiple Sclerosis. With such a variety, you can see why regular bouts of vertigo should visit a physician. He or she may eventually send you to an ear, nose and throat doctor or a neurologist for further follow-up, but start with someone who knows your health background.
Health Risks with Meniere’s Vertigo
Vertigo is not a disease, but it is an indicator something else is wrong. The main risk with vertigo comes with falling. When you are dizzy or disoriented, it’s easy to trip and end up with some injury. There is also the risk of driving or using heavy machinery, either of which vertigo symptoms can make difficult.
Diagnosing Meniere’s Vertigo
In a meeting with your doctor, they will ask you if you’ve been sick lately or had any accidents. They will also review your medications that may be the instigators behind feeling dizzy. This fact-finding mission will give your doctor more clues why you’re having these spells.
Further testing may prove necessary to figure out which type of vertigo you have, and if that symptom is part of a larger body of indicators for problems like Meniere’s Disease, it adds tinnitus, ear pressure and sometimes hearing loss into the equation.
What Will Help my Vertigo Symptoms:
Some people with vertigo find medication can decrease the intensity of the issue or increase the time between vertigo symptoms. Over-the-counter medications for motion sickness and nausea may provide relief and products for allergy relief.
Home Helps and Hints for Vertigo Symptoms
One thing anyone with chronic conditions knows is it feels good to take some of your care into your own hands. There are home treatments for vertigo you may find helpful.
Almonds: Some people find that having a good handful of almonds daily eases their vertigo symptoms. The Vitamin content (A, B and E) may be the reason.
Apple Cider Vinegar: This vinegar improves healthy blood flow to the brain. Take one-part Apple Cider Vinegar with two parts of honey to offset the flavor.
Ginger: Ginger tea reduces side-effects from vertigo symptoms, settling the stomach in particular.
Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo assists with blood flow which can ease dizzy spells and balance problems.
Herbal Supplements: Cayenne and turmeric are two herbs that people use for vertigo symptom relief.
Hydration: Dehydration can trigger vertigo or exasperate its symptoms. Drink 8-12 cups of water a day.
Vertigo Symptoms and Meniere’s Life Changes
People with ongoing vertigo symptoms may undergo life changes that are frustrating. They may find that staring at a computer screen for long times acts as a trigger. Sometimes bright lights like those in supermarkets can make you dizzy. Being unsteady on your feet affects a lot of things! It means you need to produce a functional strategy for certain situations in which your vertigo may make things uncomfortable or even dangerous.
Let’s start with the example of shopping. Running back and forth, navigating through crowds, etc. create unsteady visual cues that impact your balance. Having a cane with you can help. You don’t have to rely on it all the time, but if you feel dizzy, it gives you an extra proverbial leg.
If you travel, pressure changes and motion both set off vertigo for many people. You don’t want to avoid your adventures. Just plan for them. For travel where there is a lot of noise, a simple pair of headphones and a playlist may avoid a lot of problems. Don’t read in a moving vehicle and bring your sunglasses if you are photosensitive.
For a night on the town, it’s vital that your companions know your situation and how to handle it should vertigo become an interloper in your evening. Smaller restaurants with quiet ambiance are best for vertigo. Ask if you can sit in an area with the least amount of foot traffic. Have people seated across from you so you can have discussions without turning your head.
Be aware no matter what you are doing, the stress of vertigo onset can drain you of your energy. Keeping things simple matters. Don’t go on activities that will require long lengths of time without a break.
Meniere’s Vertigo Prevention
Studies reveal 35% of people age 40 or older have had a vestibular problem like vertigo symptoms. Of those, about 5% have chronic balance issues and/or dizziness. Women over 50 seem most prone to experiencing vertigo-related problems.
If we consider risk factors for triggering vertigo, some of your best preventions are in age-old mother’s wisdom. Eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep – all make for a healthier you. Watch your cholesterol, blood sugar ranges, and avoid high quantities of salt, caffeine, and alcohol, all of which are factors in Meniere’s vertigo.
Some people find their vertigo comes and goes irregularly, attacks happening often with no warning. This sporadic experience happens often with patients who have Meniere’s disease. Other lucky people have their vertigo disappear such as when an underlying infection goes away. Both these patterns make it far more difficult to provide concrete prevention and/or treatments
Summing It All Up: Getting Help with Meniere’s Vertigo Symptoms
Besides your physician, you do not have to face vertigo symptoms alone. There are many chat rooms and groups set up for people with balance or dizziness problems. You can remain incognito in these forums and find out what strategies have worked for others you may like to try. For example, are you thinking about trying Yoga or Essential oils for your vertigo? Ask about it! You’re likely to find at least one or more people who have already gone that route. This is also a good place to talk about your frustrations. When you read about others’ struggles you’ll find you don’t feel so alone.
There is hope and help out there. Start creating your vertigo symptom strategies today!