Vertigo is the sensation of dizziness, lightheadedness, or that the room is spinning around you. While it’s usually temporary and improves on its own, vertigo sometimes derives from a disorder.
Vertigo is often caused by problems with your inner ear, which plays an important role in your sense of balance. The most common causes of vertigo include:
Less common causes of vertigo include brain conditions such as stroke or tumor, head or neck injuries, migraine headaches, and certain medications.
BPPV may alleviate on its own within a few week or months, but treatment helps minimize symptoms faster. Your doctor may perform canalith repositioning, which involves a few slow and simple maneuvers that reposition your head. It aims to move particles from your ear canals to another area, where they won’t cause problems. Each stance is held for 30 seconds or so, and within 1-2 treatments, it’s usually effective. You’ll likely learn how to do the repositioning at home, so you can do it again on your own, if needed.
In rare and severe cases, surgery is recommended for BPPV. The procedure uses a bone plug to block the part of your inner ear causing dizziness symptoms. It has a high success rate of roughly 90%.
There is no known cure for Meniere’s disease, but a variety of available treatments minimizes the frequency and severity of the vertigo involved. These include motion sickness medications, such as diazepam or meclizine, and anti-nausea medications, such as promethazine. In some cases, diuretics help, often paired with limited sodium intake. Other treatment options include rehabilitation for improved balance and use of a hearing aid or Meniett device, which improves fluid exchange by applying pressure to the middle ear.