About 40% of adults in the United States experience vertigo at least once. If you sense a spinning sensation in yourself or the surrounding environment, you may be experiencing it, too. Note that vertigo is not a disease but a symptom. Since it can result in a loss of balance, it’s important to deal with vertigo before it worsens.
What Is Vertigo?
Vertigo is characterized by dizziness that induces a perception that you or your environment is in motion. This problem may resemble motion sickness, but it should not be mistaken for lightheadedness.
The causes of dizziness include:
- A sudden drop in blood pressure
- Standing up too quickly from a seated or lying position
- Taking certain medications
- Issues with the inner ear
As people age, they may develop health issues and require medications, increasing the likelihood of dizziness and balance issues.
Treatment Options For Vertigo
Your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist can suggest how to manage vertigo at home to reduce the risk of falls. For example, they may advise the following:
- Sit down promptly when you feel dizzy instead of continuing your activities
- Rise slowly from a seated position
- Use a cane during vertigo episodes to provide balance support
- Avoid bending over to pick things up; squat to lower yourself instead
- Refrain from stretching your neck, such as when reaching for an item on a high shelf
Your doctor may prescribe medicines to help with the symptoms if you experience vertigo for long periods. These can be drugs like:
- Ondansetron (Zofran)
- Tranquilizers such as diazepam, clonazepam, and lorazepam
These medicines work by making a naturally occurring amino acid work better. It is called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and it is already in the brain. GABA stops certain messages in the brain, which slows down the nervous system. This effect can help make vertigo more tolerable and happen less often.
Gentamicin can also be prescribed. While it is an antibiotic, its use for vertigo is not intended to treat an infection. Instead, it acts as a toxin to the cells in your inner ear to address symptoms.Your doctor will administer the drug via injection directly into your ear, targeting the cells contributing to your balance issues.Treating the underlying problem, if there is one, will also be necessary.
Oral steroids like dexamethasone and methylprednisolone may be prescribed temporarily. They help reduce the duration and frequency of vertigo episodes.
Repositioning The Head
In some cases, canalith repositioning or the Epley maneuver can help. These techniques involve repositioning the head and are more effective than waiting for the dizziness to go away.
It can be performed by a physical therapist, audiologist, or doctor, and it typically works after one or two sessions.
Before the treatment, inform your healthcare provider if you have:
- A neck or back condition
- Blood vessel issues
- A detached retina
This includes specific exercises that can make the balance system less sensitive to motion. It’s typically recommended for those experiencing dizziness due to inner ear problems such as vestibular neuritis.
Vestibular neuritis is the inflammation of a nerve in the inner ear that results in severe vertigo and balance issues.
If necessary, surgery may be an option. This may involve:
- Addressing fluid in the ear
- Removing the part of the ear responsible for the issue
- Disrupting nerve communication between balance and movement sensors
Why Seek Vertigo Treatment?
Vertigo goes beyond a sensation of dizziness and can result in a loss of balance and potential falls. As such, the balance problems associated with it cause safety hazards.
Episodes of vertigo can persist from a few seconds to several days. Those affected must move slowly and deliberately to alleviate symptoms.
Vertigo may resolve on its own without medical intervention, but it could indicate Ménière’s disease, an inner ear disorder, if it lasts for an extended period.
Medical attention is crucial if the sensation persists for days or if it comes with additional symptoms like:
- Vision loss
- Hearing impairment
- Speech alterations
- Other complications
Will Vertigo Get Worse With Time?
Vertigo does not typically progress over time. It is characterized by intermittent episodes, often triggered by changes in head position.
However, if an underlying health issue causing vertigo is left untreated, the manifestations may worsen and lead to long-term complications.
Vertigo Treatments Near You In Williamson County, TX
Vertigo can arise from manyissues, such as infections, migraines, injuries, and other health conditions. To alleviate discomfort and obtain long-term relief, addressing the underlying cause is the most effective approach. Are you looking for vertigo treatment near you? Seek the expert care and personalized treatment you deserve at Georgetown ENT.
Dr. Scott D. Franklin conducts thorough hearing and equilibrium examinations for ENT problems in adult and pediatric patients. We can perform a swift repositioning technique for those with positional vertigo. This method can provide instantaneous relief from related symptoms and help you live well.
Why wait? Whether you’re from Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Leander, Cedar Park, or beyond, call (512) 869-0604. You can also use our online request form to schedule your appointment today. Let us help you get back to feeling your best.