One of the most common reasons people, both young and old, make a trip to the doctor is due to dizziness, or vertigo. Many people over 40 – at least 40% of the population – have had at least one episode of vertigo. Often, it is a symptom of some minor condition, but it can also signal more significant health issues.
Most people experience benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. This type of vertigo responds well to treatment. While sitting still or lying in bed, suddenly the room begins to feel like it is spinning or you may feel like you are spinning. About 10% of the general population is affected by vertigo with those over 40 more likely to have symptoms. Unfortunately, this problem is often the reason why people over 65 will fall. In fact, vertigo is the underlying reason a senior falls in about 25% of the cases.
In order to get the proper treatment for vertigo, you first need to speak with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. Vertigo can be the result of an inner ear infection or inflammation of the inner ear, minor head trauma or an upper respiratory infection. Dehydration may also cause it.
It is important to get a proper diagnosis because vertigo can also be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as a heart problem or the onset of multiple sclerosis. It is also a symptom of Meniere’s disease, which seems more prominent in those between the ages of 40 and 60. Migraines can cause episodes of vertigo as well.
Coping with Symptoms
Once your condition has been properly diagnosed, your doctor can advise you on what steps you need to take to minimize or eliminate the effects of vertigo. Your doctor or a physical therapist can help you learn the moves to help cope with your vertigo.
There are four maneuvers used for coping with vertigo: Epley Maneuver, Semont Maneuver, Foster Maneuver and Brandt-Daroff Exercise. Each involves moving your head slightly then lying down or moving into a different position. Your doctor or physical therapist will recommend the maneuver best suited for your condition.
When you have an episode, don’t panic. Anxiety can make vertigo worse. Instead, stabilize your head and focus your eyes on an object until the spinning sensation subsides. Check in with your doctor or physical therapist.
Posted on behalf of Sovereign Rehabilitation
5555 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd, Suite 225
Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: (404) 835-3340