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.