- Vertigo has various causes.
- The vertigo treatment depends on the actual cause of the condition.
- The Epley maneuver tends to remove the dislodged calcium fragments from the semi-circular canals in the inner ear.
Because vertigo has various causes, treatment depends on the actual cause of the condition. As a result, some causes of vertigo can be completely cured, while there are others the affected individual can only manage.
However, you shouldn’t just rush to the hospital after experiencing vertigo, other completely unrelated causes can lead to vertigo, such as alcohol. Additionally, it could be just a one-off case where you just felt dizzy. Therefore, you should only seek medical attention when you experience recurrent episodes of vertigo.
Diagnosis of Vertigo
Dizziness and head-spinning, which are the primary symptoms of vertigo, can also arise from other viral diseases and infections. Before any vertigo treatment options are offered, the doctor must diagnose you to eliminate chances of another underlying cause. The diagnosis is done through a study of your medical history and a recount of your vertigo episode to establish the trigger of the episode.
Bacterial infections of the inner ear cause inflammation in the organs, leading to vertigo. Most of these infections can be treated with antibiotics, which can be orally (tablets or capsules), through skin (patch), suppositories, or intravenously. Symptoms of vertigo usually disappear soon after the infection subsides and the condition is completely cured. A more serious problem may arise when you have a hole in the inner ear that keeps getting infected. In that case, a specialist ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor may intervene to help with the problem.
For cases of Meniere’s disease where there is a buildup of endolymph, there is no cure for the symptoms. However, several diet changes may minimize the amount of endolymph produced in the inner ear and alleviate symptoms of vertigo.
- Low salt diet: salt affects body fluid levels and should be limited
- Regular fluid intake: ensure you drink adequate fluids daily
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine: these contain drugs that affect blood supply to the inner ear
Once the cause of vertigo is established to be something that can’t be completely cured
The Epley maneuver
Your doctor will perform four separate head movements, holding your head in each position for at least 30 seconds. The idea is to move the dislodged calcium fragments into a position where they don’t interrupt the semi-circular canals. You may experience some vertigo during the procedure but symptoms decrease thereafter.
The Epley maneuver may require a few times to get right, and even then, it might not take. In that case, your doctor can perform these exercises and even teach you to do them at home on your own. When practiced, they alleviate symptoms of vertigo, keeping the symptoms at bay.
Vertigo can sometimes be debilitating when it lasts for hours and even days. In such cases, management becomes difficult because the sufferer can’t focus, in which case a surgery may be called for. However, any surgery around the middle ear stands the chance of causing permanent hearing loss and can be very risky, so this should only be the last resort.