If you have ever experienced a dizzy feeling, a loss of balance, or feel like the world around you was swirling out of control then you may have vertigo. This condition causes a spinning sensation out of no where, and this unpleasant sensation can last for days.
Those who experience this constant feeling of dizziness and imbalance quickly turn to treatments and home remedies for vertigo. However, before you begin looking for solutions to the problem it’s vital you learn more about it.
It’s important to note that vertigo isn’t considered a condition on its own but more like a symptom of an underlying condition.
The most common diseases or infections of the ear that causes vertigo are vestibular neuritis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and meniere’s disease.
Anatomy of The Ear
To understand better how vertigo is caused we should learn more about the anatomy of the ear and how sound travels through it. The canal of your outer ear is the first place where sound waves travel through to the ear drum.
These sound waves then become vibrations that are transmitted trhough the inner ear via 3 little bones known as the malleus, the incus, and the stapes. It then travels through the cochlea and then to the vestibular nerve, which sends the signal to your brain.
This arrangement of bones and canals in your ear is what sends immediate feedback in regards to your position in space. If there is any issues with the inner part of your ear then this will cause you to feel dizzy and nauseated.
One of the most common causes of inner problems is the build up of debris inside the inner ear. Along with underlying conditions other causes of vertigo can include:
- head injuries
- brain injuries
- medications designed to treat seizures
- medications designed to treat depression
- medications designed to treat blood pressure
- high blood pressure
- multiple sclerosis
- in rare cases alcohol consumption
Once you experience vertigo the symptoms can last for just a few seconds or a few hours, or they can last much longer like days. The symptoms of vertigo will develop suddenly and as you can imagine make your daily life difficult.
The most common symptom associated with vertigo is a dizzy/spinning sensation. Even if you’re standing completely still you’ll experience this dizzy sensation. The sensation will hit you out of nowhere and the sensation can get worse if you try to move your head or body.
Symptoms can include:
- abnormal movement in the eye
- feeling as if you have no balance
- feeling as if you’re about to have a stroke
- feeling as if your body is spinning
- feeling as if your body is tilting
- feeling as if the world is spinning around you
- feeling as if you’re being pulled to one direction
- feeling as if you’re body is swaying
- weakness on one side of the body
- loss of hearing
- ears ringing
- double vision
- lack of coordination
- weakness in the arms or legs
When you notice one or more of these symptoms you should consider getting checked by a doctor. The doctor will check out your signs and symptoms to make sure they’re not due to a life threatening or severe condition/illness.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above then getting checked by an experienced doctor is vital. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms, recent conditions, and any medications you have been taking.
Common questions a doctor may ask include:
- Whether or not the symptoms the patient is experiencing comes and goes or if they are constant?
- Whether or not the patient has experienced any recent head injury?
- Whether or not the patient experiences other problems with their hearing such as ringing in the ears?
Once the doctor gets your full medical history a physical examination will then be performed.
The doctor will examine the function of your brain to determine whether or not your case of vertigo is due to a peripheral or central cause. Sometimes a test is done to recreate the vertigo symptoms.
The name of this test is called Dix-Hallpike and it involves re-positioning the patient’s head abruptly. This test is very effective in figuring out the underlying cause of the vertigo.
Sometimes a CT scan or an MRI of the inner ears or brain is performed in order to determine if a patient has been experiencing vertigo symptoms.
There are various treatments and remedies for vertigo. The treatment used will greatly depend on what exactly is causing it. Sometimes the vertigo symptoms will subside on their own.
However, sometimes the symptoms don’t go away and treatment is necessary. The first line of defense against vertigo is physical therapy to help restore balance.
Physical Therapy for Vertigo
Vestibular Rehabilitation: Vestibular rehabilitation is an exercise regimen that helps relieve symptoms of vestibular disorders. The exercises and manuevers practiced with this physical therapy will help alleviate dizziness, abnormal eye movements, imbalance, and other vertigo symptoms.
The goal of this physical therapy technique is to help improve compensation. There are 3 parts to this exercise for vertigo and they are habituation, gaze stabilization, and balance training.
Canalith Repositioning: Also known as Epley, the canalith repositioning procedure works by implementing specific movements of the head in order to move around canaliths, or loose crystals, in the interior part of your ear.
This exercise is a form of vestibuilar rehabilitation therapy and it will stop the false signals from being sent to the brain, which leads to dizziness and other vertigo symptoms.
Since there are side effects such as neck or back injury that can occur while performing this physical therapy procedure it’s vital to only allow these maneuvers to be administered by an expert who has been trained to carry them out.
Medications for Vertigo
When it comes to medications for vertigo there are many that can help reduce the sensation of spinning or dizziness. The medication your doctor prescribes you will depend on the cause (condition or illness) of your vertigo symptoms and how severe your symptoms are.
Some of the most commonly used medications to help reduce symptoms of vertigo include:
Antihistamines: This is one group of medications that is often prescribed to treat vertigo. Probably the most commonly prescribed antihistamine for vertigo is meclizine (Antivert).
Meclizine works by preventing motion sickness and decreasing the severity of symptoms. Some of the side effects associated with this group of medication are dry mouth and blurry vision.
Water Pills: In order to decrease how often you experience dizziness the doctor will prescribe water pills. Some doctors may recommend going on a low-salt diet along with this medication.
Anticholinergics: This drug suppresses motion sickness by reducing the velocity of vestibular nystagmus and inhibiting the firing in vestibular nucleus neurons. Scopolamine is the most commonly prescribed anticholinergic for vertigo. Side effects due to taking this medication includes: dry mouth, sedation, and dialated pupils.
Benzodiazepines: This medication is often prescribed for acute vertigo and will help by acting as vestibular suppressants. This medication is great at keeping motion sickness under control and will help reduce anxiety often linked to vertigo.
Using benzodiazepines as vestibular suppressnats should be limited due to the side effects they can cause. The most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines for vertigo symptoms is Diazepam (Valium).
Antiemetics: These are a group of drugs your doctor may prescribe in order to reduce the feeling of nausea or vomiting due to vertigo.
Home Remedies for Vertigo
Before you turn to any home remedies for vertigo attacks you should consult your doctor first. Getting diagnosed with vertigo is important before you start trying to remedy yourself at home.
These remedies may not cure your vertigo symptoms, but they’ll at least help subside them.
One of the best essential oils to treat vertigo naturally is peppermint oil. Ismenthol is the active ingredient in peppermint oil that helps relieve the dizzy and spinning sensations.
To use this oil to reduce these symptoms you can either massage the oil on the forehead and back of the neck with a few drops, or you can soak a cotton ball with the oil and then inhale it through your nose.
This essential oil can help relieve dizziness by promoting better oxygen and blood circulation to the brain.
Just like peppermint oil you can use cypress oil by inhaling the vapors. Get an aromatherapy diffuser to diffuse the oil into the air so it can be inhaled better.
Use this oil by placing a couple drops right under your tongue. Most of our subscribers that tried this remedy didn’t like the taste but it works.
Along with taking it orally you can apply it topically by placing a few drops around your ears and your forehead. Wait at least 5 minutes for symptoms to subside.
The scent of lavender oil will help reduce the symptoms. This natural treatment for vertigo can be applied directly on your head or you can use an arometherapy diffuser to inhale the vapors.
If you don’t have a diffuser you can simply apply some to your pillow at night before you go to sleep.
There are certain properties in ginger that help send better blood circulation to your brain, which will stop dizzy spells. Simply apply a few drops of the ginger oil on your neck and forehead.
Make sure you massage the oil in once you apply it. You could also use a diffuser to release the vapors for you to inhale.
If you aren’t a huge fan of the smell of ginger don’t worry there are plenty other essential oils that are great home remedies for vertigo.
One of the best home remedies for vertigo is hydrogen peroxide, which is a colorless liquid that kind of resembles water. It is actually made up of oxygen and water (H202) and it gets rid of organisms by oxidation.
Peroxide is often used to treat ear infections and remove wax from the inner ear. It’s believed that peroxide in the ear helps treat vertigo by loosening the stones lodged inside the ear.
Kind of the same way some physical therapy does. We recommend soaking a cotton ball with peroxide and then lay down on your side. Now squeeze out the peroxide from the cotton ball and allow it to drip into your ear canal. Make sure you remain on your side for at least 5 minutes before you sit back up.
You’ll hear a popping sound while you perform this remedy and once the popping stops is when you can get up. Most of our subscribers that tried this remedy noticed their symptoms gone immediately after applying this remedy. The really great thing about this remedy is that it won’t cost you more than $5 to get the hydrogen peroxide.
Believe it or not but magnets can be used as a home remedy for vertigo. It’s believed that magnets help relieve dizziness, abnormal eye movements, and imbalance by pushing out the fluid in the inner part of the ear. We’ve gotten many emails from readers who swear by this remedy.
The simplest thing to do is get a piece of magnetic jewelry like a necklace and wear it daily, or when symptoms come on. Another and much cheaper way to utilize the benefits of remedy is to purchase a couple magnets from your local hardware store.
Place the two bagnets together and then wrap them up in something like a small towel. Now position the wrapped magnets at the back of your head and then tie the ends together at your forehead. Leave the magnetic towel around your head for at least 15 minutes or until symptoms subside.
Vitamin D Capsules
Some people suffering from vertigo may just be vitamin D deficient. When you vitamin D level is too low it will bring on vertigo symptoms.
It’s best to consult a doctor to check your vitamin D level, and if it’s too low you’ll be prescribed vitamin D supplements. From our experience 1000 units of vitamin D every other day should help.
Taking ginkgo biloba supplements daily can help reduce symptoms of vertigo by increasing blood circulation to your brain.
Take 2 capsules of this herbal supplement a few times daily to relieve symptoms like dizziness and lightheadedness.
Ginger is a well known home remedy for motion sickness. To use ginger as a natural treatment for vertigo you can take it in supplement form or drink it as a tea. In supplement form take 1000 mgs at the first sign of vertigo.
To make the tea boil a fresh piece of ginger root in a cup of boiling water. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes and then strain and drink.
Also known as ear coning, ear candling can help clear up the inner ear and reduce symptoms of vertigo. This treatment is often used to clear up ear wax, but can also help with vertigo.
Check out the video below:
Another method that can give you the same effect is lighting a cigarette and placing the butt side in your ear. The lighted cigarette will begin to draw out the air from ears and provide you with some relief.
These home remedies for vertigo have been proven to work. All of these remedies are generally safe to perform as long as you use them properly.