It is a common misconception that vertigo is all about suffering from a fear of heights.

In this article:

What is vertigo?

Symptoms

Causes

Diagnosis

Effect on your life

Treatment

How Chemist Online can help

What is vertigo?
Vertigo is not a fear of heights but a condition where you suffer a sudden loss of balance and the sensation that everything around you is turning. Many people with vertigo describe it as being like on a merry-go-round, and so your vision becomes blurred and everything around you seems to be moving – even if you are completely still when the vertigo attack occurs.

Symptoms
Symptoms of vertigo include:

A feeling that the room or your surroundings are spinning

Loss of balance

Difficulty standing and walking

Headache

Earache

High temperature

Tinnitus

Nausea and vomiting

Sweating

A feeling of disorientation (which can make you feel anxious and upset), and a kind of light-headedness

When someone has a vertigo attack, the symptoms they experience and the behaviour they display can often be misconstrued by others as drunkenness, and so they fail to come to the person’s assistance, as a result.

Causes
Vertigo is usually caused by a viral infection to the balance mechanisms in the inner ear.

Note: Sometimes vertigo can develop as a result of a head injury. If you are suffering from vertigo and have recently suffered a blow to the head, then please seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis
If you are suffering form the aforementioned symptoms and think that you may have vertigo, then arrange an appointment with your GP. After taking your medical history and asking you some questions about your symptoms, they will then carry out a series of tests. These tests will include an ear X-ray, hearing test and balance test.

For a confirmed diagnosis, you may be referred to a specialist. This will probably be at the Ear, Nose & Throat Department (ENT) of your local (or nearest) hospital. There you will have either an MRI scan or a CT scan – not necessarily to establish a confirmed diagnosis of vertigo, but to rule out other possible conditions which may be the root cause of your symptoms (such as a benign brain tumour).

Once a diagnosis of vertigo is established, an appropriate treatment will be recommended to you.

Effect on your life
Many people with vertigo describe it as quite a frightening condition because of the sudden onset of symptoms and also the feeling of loss of control. A vertigo attack can occur anywhere and at any time, this can make things like a normal trip to the shops or a café precarious.

If you are under treatment for vertigo, then it is always best to take someone with you whenever you go out. Also, try to avoid activities and situations where you may have to turn your head often and quickly, as this can trigger the onset of symptoms and also exacerbate them.

The good news is that, like other ear-related conditions which affect balance and overall orientation, such as labyrinthitis, vertigo does generally clear up completely in time. This might be within a couple of weeks or from anything up to a year. Chronic of ‘permanent vertigo’ can occur but only in rare cases.

Treatment
Although there is no actual ‘cure’ for vertigo as such, there are a range of treatments available which can help reduce and control symptoms until the condition eventually passes of its own accord. As well as prescribed medication (such as betahistamine), treatments for vertigo include:

Head manoeuvres – The Epley manoeuvre carried out by a healthcare professional is proven in being helpful in easing the symptoms of (and even curing) vertigo. The manoeuvre involves placing the head in 4 different positions for 30 seconds at a time, in an effort to reposition the otoconia fragments in the ear which may be causing the loss of balance people with vertigo experience and struggle to cope with.

Surgery – where prescribed medication and the Epley manoeuvre proves unsuccessful, surgery to the inner ear may be carried out (but only in severe cases as this can lead to deafness).

Author's Bio: 

How Chemist Online can help
Through this website we have a range of treatments available to buy that can help relieve the symptoms and associated symptoms of vertigo, such as headache and earache.

This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.

www.chemistonline.co.uk