06 Jan Can Vertigo be Treated by a House Call Concierge Doctor?
Vertigo can significantly impact day-to-day life, but its origins can sometimes be difficult to determine. Fortunately, various treatment options are available. Today, we look at the causes of vertigo and your treatment options.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is the sensation that you and/or everything around you are spinning in circles and is a symptom of many diseases. Although it can make you feel off-balance and dizzy, vertigo and dizziness are two different issues.
Vertigo vs Dizziness
The main differences between vertigo and dizziness are the symptoms they cause. Dizziness is a common symptom of vertigo, but it does not cause the spinning sensation that vertigo is known for. Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting, but dizziness does not.
Further, the causes of each condition are different. Environmental conditions or underlying health condition causes dizziness. Peripheral vertigo is caused by health conditions that affect your inner ear, where your vestibular system is located. Central vertigo occurs due to brain-related issues, such as brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, or stroke.
What are Vertigo Symptoms?
Vertigo can cause many potential symptoms, such as:
- Balance problems
- A feeling of fullness in your ear
- Motion sickness
- Nystagmus (a condition that causes your eyes to move back and forth uncontrollably)
What causes Vertigo?
Several syndromes and health conditions can be responsible, such as:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – The most common cause, BPPV is usually brought on when you move your head, such as lying down, sitting up, or turning over in bed.
- Meniere’s disease – Causes a buildup of fluid in your ear. Other symptoms of Meniere’s disease include a feeling of fullness in your ear, fluctuating hearing loss, or tinnitus.
- Labyrinthitis – Inflammation or infection of the inner ear labyrinth, where the vestibulocochlear nerve is located. This nerve gives your brain information about head motion, position, and sound. If you have labyrinthitis, you may experience ear pain, headaches, hearing loss, tinnitus, or vision changes.
- Vestibular neuritis – A type of vestibular nerve inflammation similar to labyrinthitis. Still, it does not cause hearing loss, which may lead to blurred vision, nausea, and vertigo.
- Cholesteatoma – A noncancerous skin growth in your middle ear caused by repeated ear infections. If you have a cholesteatoma, you may experience dizziness, hearing loss, and vertigo.
In addition to these health issues, other general health issues can also be the culprits. Other causes of vertigo include:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Ataxia (muscle weakness)
- Brain disease
- Certain medications
- Ear surgery
- Head injuries
- Migraine headaches
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Orthostatic hypotension, which causes your blood pressure to drop when you stand up
- Perilymphatic fistula, which causes inner ear fluid to leak into your middle ear
- Prolonged bed rest
- Shingles in or near your ear
Can Stress Cause Vertigo?
Stress is not a direct cause, but it can worsen inner ear problems. For this reason, many people have vertigo attacks when they are anxious or stressed.
Certain risk factors can make you more likely to develop vertigo, including:
- High total cholesterol level
- Past head trauma
- Vitamin D deficiency
Is Vertigo a Symptom of Covid-19?
Yes. Both dizziness and vertigo are possible early symptoms of Covid-19, but they can also persist and be part of long-haul Covid. These symptoms are fairly common, but it is unknown why Covid-19 causes vertigo and dizziness.
How Long Does Vertigo Last?
The average vertigo attack lasts several seconds to several minutes, but some people experience serious attacks that can last for hours, days, weeks, or even months.
Can it be Cured Permanently?
As stated before, vertigo is not a disease or illness itself but a symptom of an underlying health condition. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing attacks so they can diagnose the cause of your attacks and treat them. Diagnosing and treating the causes can help prevent future vertigo episodes and reduce the duration and severity that you endure.
What Are Your Treatment Options?
Once you and your doctor know what is causing your vertigo, you can begin treating it. Sometimes, though, your doctor may not be able to determine the cause of your vertigo. In these cases, your doctor will treat your vertigo symptoms directly.
Vertigo Treatment at Home
Most home remedies are intended to prevent or reduce your attacks, but some can be used when a vertigo attack begins. Some home remedies for vertigo include:
- Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
- Staying hydrated
- Taking herbal supplements such as cayenne pepper, turmeric, and Gongjin-dan.
Several lifestyle changes can lessen the impact of vertigo on your life, including
- Lying down in a quiet, dark room when the spinning is severe
- Perform triggering movements more slowly
- Sitting down as soon as you feel dizzy
- Squat (rather than bending over) when you need to pick something up
- Turn on lights when you get up at night, as this can help prevent falls
- Use a cane when you walk to help you steady yourself
- Use two pillows (one on top of the other) when you sleep
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications may be able to minimize the symptoms of severe vertigo, such as
- Anti-nausea medicines
- And sedative medicines.
The two main physical therapy maneuvers used for treatment are the Epley maneuver and vestibular rehabilitation exercises. The Epley maneuver uses head and body movements to stimulate your inner ear to reabsorb anything that is floating in your inner ear. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises1 are balancing exercises that can help your brain and senses handle disorientation more easily.
How can a Concierge Doctor Help with Your Vertigo?
A house call from a concierge doctor can help you address your vertigo by diagnosing and treating it. They can conduct an in-home health screening and order tests to check your balance, hearing, and vision. If your doctor cannot determine the cause after these tests, they do some brain imaging tests like an MRI. Once the cause of your vertigo has been determined, your concierge doctor can treat your underlying conditions.
Vertigo is not an illness or disease but a symptom of many possible underlying health conditions. It is important to talk to your concierge doctor if you begin to experience vertigo attacks. Your doctor can perform tests to determine the causes of this issue, and they can treat the underlying cause and provide you with treatments for your vertigo symptoms, such as medication and physical therapy.
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