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vertigo nashville

Vertigo May Affect As Many As 40% of Adults Age 40+

One in ten people experience vertigo, and four in ten adults age 40 and older will experience vertigo at some point in their lives. Vertigo is characterized by dizziness or a feeling that the room is spinning. This sensation is sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

ENT doctors at St. Thomas Medical Group help adults suffering from temporary and permanent vertigo throughout the greater Nashville area. Let’s take a closer look at this common health issue…

What Causes Vertigo?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by small crystals in the vestibular labyrinth (within the inner ear) becoming loose and moving into nearby semicircular canals. As a result, head positioning can be very sensitive, causing dizziness and other vertigo symptoms. The good news is, treatment is available for this condition. Learn more below.

What Treatment Options Are Available?

Some cases of vertigo can be resolved through in-office maneuvers performed by your doctor or a physical therapist. These maneuvers, which involve positioning the neck and head, aim to return dislodged crystals in the ear canal to their appropriate place.

Your ENT doctor at St. Thomas Medical Group may also recommend a diuretic (water pill) to reduce fluid retention, an issue that may contribute to vertigo. However, diuretics may not be right for all patients; talk to your doctor to learn more. Inner ear injections and surgery may be options for severe cases, though these approaches are certainly not common frontline therapies.

What Else You Can Do…

Reduce vertigo symptoms at home by:

  • Sitting upright on the edge of the bed for a few minutes before getting up.
  • Develop balance with yoga or similar exercises.
  • Move your head slowly; avoid sudden, jerking motions.

Vertigo Can Increase Risk for Falls

Vertigo isn’t just uncomfortable; it can actually put individuals at an increased risk for falls, which can be life-threatening. According to one study, “The presence of dizziness in the elderly is a strong predictor of falls, which is the leading cause of accidental death in people older than 65 years.” Because vertigo can lead to falls, which can cause brain injury, broken bones, and other complications, it’s especially important to see a physician for vertigo.

ENT Doctors in Nashville, TN | Vertigo Treatment Available

Do you struggle with vertigo or dizzy spells? Find an ENT doctor near you at St. Thomas Medical Group. Call +1 (615) 386-9089 or visit the Nashville ENT & Allergy Clinic’s online home for more information.

essential oils

Are Essential Oils Beneficial? Safe? A Medical Perspective

Diffuse, inhale, ingest, massage… essential oils are catching on like wildfire! In North America alone, the aromatherapy market is expected to grow from $1.6B in 2016 to $2.8B by 2024. As more manufacturers enter the market and more health-conscious consumers begin experimenting with blends of lavender, peppermint, bergamot, and other oils, many are asking, “Are essential oils safe? Do essential oils actually work?”

The truth is, there’s a lot we don’t know about essential oils. Unlike traditional drugs, which undergo rigorous clinical trials and have known side effects, essential oils are not subject to the same regulations imposed by the FDA. In fact, essential oils must clearly state that they are “not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

Of course, simply lacking FDA regulation doesn’t mean essential oils can’t have any benefits. Rather, we just don’t know for sure what benefits they do offer. And, in many cases, the potential risk and harm may outweigh the benefits.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to think twice before using essential oils on yourself or your children…

Abnormally High Concentrations

Essential oils are frequently touted as “natural” therapies. However, the incredibly high concentrations are anything but natural. As one nurse blogger points out, a popular manufacturer of essential oils “boasts that it takes 75 lemons to make one 15 mL bottle of lemon oil, 27 square feet of lavender plants to make one 15 mL bottle of lavender, and an entire pound of raw peppermint to make one 15 mL bottle of peppermint oil.”

Consuming just one drop of peppermint oil is the equivalent of drinking 26-28 cups of peppermint tea! Is that a “natural” way to get the potential benefits of peppermint? Not really. When it comes to abnormally high concentrations of anything, extreme caution is advised.

Lack of Standardization

Advil® is Advil®… and the drugstore brand version is pretty much the exact same thing. It doesn’t matter what store you buy it from or what area of the country you’re in. When it comes to essential oils, we’re living in the Wild West. The plants from which essential oils are derived can vary in concentration; weather and growing conditions, as well as processing techniques, can affect potency.

Unknown Causation

As always, correlation does not equal causation. If you massage thieves into blistered feet and notice an improvement the next day, is that a result of the oil alone? The massage? The massage combined with the oil? Moisture? It’s difficult to determine exactly what causes certain outcomes.

Questions About Essential Oils? See a Doctor in Nashville

At St. Thomas Medical Group, our physicians are advocates for your health. We are not opposed to the effective use of alternate therapies, and we encourage you to learn more about your wellness options. Looking for a doctor in Nashville who will listen to you and advocate for your health and well-being? Call +1 (615) 297-2700 or schedule online.

How Well Do You Know Hypertension?

Hypertension, also known as “high blood pressure,” affects one in three adults in the U.S. and contributes to more than 1,000 deaths per day, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease than those who do not have high blood pressure.

According to The Hypertension Institute at St. Thomas West Hospital, “The odds are good that most people will have high blood pressure in their lifetime. In fact, 90% of people with normal blood pressure at age 55 are at risk for developing high blood pressure as they get older.”

Unfortunately, only about half of the people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Help for high blood pressure is available at St. Thomas Medical Group. Getting better starts with getting informed

What Is Hypertension?

High blood pressure occurs when the blood in your arteries applies excessive force to the arterial walls. While some fluctuation in blood pressure is normal, people with hypertension have excessive pressure on the arterial walls for an extended period of time. This significantly raises risk for heart attack and stroke.

How Do I Know If I Have Hypertension?

Oftentimes, there are no warning signs or symptoms of high blood pressure. It is important to understand that you could have hypertension without experiencing any symptoms whatsoever. Headaches and nausea are very uncommon symptoms of high blood pressure.

Because signs and symptoms are so rare, it’s important to see a doctor for a blood pressure screening. This quick and painless test simply involves placing an inflatable cuff around the arm to measure pressure in the blood vessels.

How Can I Manager My High Blood Pressure?

While blood pressure may be managed through certain medications, changing your diet and lifestyle is hands down the healthiest and best way to manage high blood pressure.

Manage high blood pressure by eating a diet that’s low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber. Staying active is also a great way to lower blood pressure. Aim to take three 10-minute walks per day, at least five days a week.

If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Limit alcoholic drinks to two per day (men) or one per day (women).

Am I At Risk for High Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. However, some common risk factors include:

  • Having a family history of hypertension
  • Getting older
  • Lacking physical activity
  • Eating an unhealthy diet (especially a diet high in sodium)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Having diabetes
  • Having sleep apnea
  • Smoking

High Blood Pressure Treatment in Nashville, TN

Need help getting your high blood pressure under control? Find an internal medicine doctor in Nashville at St. Thomas Medical Group. Don’t delay in getting the care you need. Call +1 (615) 297-2700 or schedule your appointment online.