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Vertigo: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Vertigo: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
Kevin Cleary

I’m sure we have all felt dizzy from time to time, but those who suffer from vertigo understand this is a much more intricate issue. This is not a simple case of standing up too quickly and feeling lightheaded. Vertigo is a medical condition that is not only characterized by dizziness and a sensation of being unsteady but involves a sensation of motion. By understanding the symptoms and possible causes, you can search out the best treatments and we here at HPFY can give you some helpful information on this disorder.

Causes and Symptoms of Vertigo

What Exactly is Vertigo?

We have all felt dizzy before. I myself have been told I’m dizzy several times a week, but I don’t think they’re talking about vertigo. Vertigo is a medical condition that is similar to being lightheaded but can be a little more involved. Often issues with our interfere or vestibular system can lead to episodes of vertigo. The symptoms of vertigo can include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Spinning
  • Uneven balance
  • Headache
  • Swaying sensation

These sensations can last minutes to hours and may even come and go over time. The key component to a diagnosis of vertigo is the combination of dizziness with a sense of movement. Vertigo even can be triggered by a sudden, quick repositioning of the head.

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Causes and Treatments of Vertigo

While vertigo is temporary and can last anywhere from minutes to hours to even days, what is this disorder? The most common type of vertigo is peripheral vertigo which is an issue with the balance mechanisms of the inner ear and some causes include:

  • Medication side effects
  • Head injury
  • Vestibular nerve cell inflammation (vestibular neuronitis)
  • Inner ear inflammation

Another type of vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and can occur with no apparent cause or reason. Some common causes include:

  • Head injury
  • Ear infection
  • Ear surgery
  • Long periods of bed rest

Developing a treatment for vertigo can depend on the severity of your symptoms and the actual trigger. During a vertigo episode, lying still in a dark, quiet room can minimize symptoms of nausea and spinning. Medications such as corticosteroids for acute vestibular neuritis and antibiotics for any ear infection may be prescribed by your doctor. Other treatments include physical/breathing exercises, head massage, a raised pillow, and ensuring ample rest or sleep. If your vertigo is severe enough a procedure known as canal plugging surgery can use a bone plug to block the portion of your inner ear that causes dizziness. If your vertigo persists, your physician may recommend a visit to a neurologist or an otolaryngologist.


Believe it or not, you can minimize vertigo episodes by eating and avoiding certain foods. By eating a proper diet and avoiding foods/drinks that can contribute to episodes of vertigo, it may be possible to avoid, minimize, or keep these episodes less severe. You should avoid foods with high salt and fat content, as well as beverages with alcohol or caffeine. Foods that contain the amino acid tyramine can trigger migraines, so try to avoid red wine, nuts, and even chicken liver. You should try to eat foods that contain whole grains and vitamin B6. Salmon, tuna, chicken, and vegetables such as spinach should be incorporated into your daily diet.

Vertigo can diminish your quality of life during an episode and being prepared can help you minimize its effects and continue on with your everyday life. Talk with your doctor to identify any cause or trigger for your vertigo episodes in order to devise a plan to effectively stop the spinning.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

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