- Does your head spin when you get up from bed?
- Do you feel dizzy if you change your posture or direction of moving suddenly?
- Do you find it difficult to read moving letters?
- Do you feel you are losing balance while walking?
- Are you frustrated because of these problems?
I'm sure most of you would have got this problem checked by the ENT specialist. All these are symptoms of Vertigo.
Vertigo is caused due to an imbalance in the canals of the ear. The human ear has certain receptors, which detect motion of the head and neck with respect to the rest of your body. These help you adjust or adapt to various sudden change in position. Positional Vertigo is seen when there is a problem with these receptors and they are unable to function to their optimum level. That is when you feel giddy when your head moves suddenly, when you change position in bed or wake up in a hurry in the morning.
Vertigo can occur in various forms, but positional type is the most common one seen in women. It can occur at any age and is usually also associated with Neck Spondylosis and head injury.
Dizziness => Lack of head and neck movement => More dizziness => Stiff neck => Severe dizziness.
This is a vicious cycle. This ultimately leads to lack of mobility for the fear of falling and in turn makes you feel frustrated and limits your ability to do your daily activities and even socialize.
Is there any cure for this? Yes, definitely. You may need to visit the ENT specialist, who would be able to diagnose the type of vertigo. He would prescribe some medications, which would however give you temporary relief. However, long-term use of these medications would only lead to some side effects and later no relief from symptoms. Along with medication, Physiotherapy can help you to a very large extent. Many people are unaware of this fact. Physiotherapists can examine you by doing various provocative tests and also treat you. They would treat you with some positional treatments, which have to be maintained for 3-4 days followed by exercises. The exercises are meant to help your receptors adapt to the changes in position in your daily life activities. These also help you to improve your balance and thus improve your sense of well being. There are exercises to help improve you gaze stability and postural control. Some of the exercises are as follows:
Exercises to Improve Gaze Stability
- Tape a board with a dot on the wall in front of you so that you can see it. Move your head from side to side keeping the dot in focus. Move your head faster but keep the dot in focus. Continue to do this for 1-2 minutes without stopping.
- Repeat the exercise moving your head up and down. Repeat the exercises using a large pattern such as a checkerboard. Start slowly and then increase your speed.
Exercises to improve Postural stability (Balance)
- Walk close to a wall with a narrow base of support. Finally walk heel to toe. Do this with eyes open and then closed.
- Walk close to a wall and turn your head to the right and to the left as you walk. Try to focus on different objects as you walk. Gradually turn your head more often and faster.
There are more exercises, but all these need to be done only under the proper supervision of the Physiotherapist.
Vertigo is not a self-limiting condition if examined and treated at the right time. So as soon as you feel any of the symptoms, go to an ENT specialist and then visit the nearest physiotherapy center for further help. Prompt treatment and regular exercise can help you lead an independent life without any insecurity or feeling of frustration. Take care of yourselves now, as now is all you have.