The word “vertigo” indicates a condition of imbalance, characterized by the feeling that the surroundings are moving. Those who suffer from it feel unstable and at unease, even if they sit down.
The typical dizziness generally only lasts a few seconds and ceases spontaneously, but sometimes it may last some hours or even days, worsening when you move your head or simply cough.
What is the cause of vertigo, and how can you cure it? We asked Doctor Stefano Miceli, an otolaryngologist at Humanitas.
The most common causes
The feeling of imbalance and dizziness caused by vertigo may depend on many factors, such as:
- Labyrinth (the inner ear controls the sense of balance) and nervous system disorders
- Head trauma due to accidental falls
- Cerebral hemorrhages
- Meniere’s disease
Vertigo is often associated with headache, nausea, vomit, vision problems, weakness and palpitations.
What Should you do in case of Vertigo?
The most effective treatments for vertigo address its cause. The severest situations require dedicated medications. Sometimes the otoliths (the crystals inside our ears) move from their right location so that the doctor has to perform the so-called Epley Maneuver in order to move them back and eliminate the disorder. If vertigo depends on a head trauma (due to an accidental fall), a rehabilitative therapy is needed to restore the balance of the body.
- People prone to vertigo should pay attention to falls
- Those who suffer from vertigo should pay attention to a few things to avoid getting hurt if they fall
- Engage regularly in physical activities to strengthen their muscles and enhance their balance
- Use the handrail when walking down the stairs
- Remove potential obstacles from their houses (carpets, stools…)
- Use low-heeled shoes with a slip-resistant sole
- Mount handles in their bathtub and shower
- Light up the room they are in if they need to get up during the night