Recognizing the Signs of Vertigo in Yourself and Loved Ones

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Recognizing the Signs of Vertigo in Yourself and Loved Ones

By Living Better on February 17, 2021

Undoubtedly, vertigo can be one of the most confusing and even terrifying medical conditions a person can experience. It can affect people from all walks of life; however, its chronic form primarily occurs in older adults.

Perhaps the most common form is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). The severity of this condition can vary from person to person; however, people with BPPV should seek vertigo treatment options where possible. The severity of a case of vertigo can change from day to day and even month to month; for many people, BPPV tends to flare up during times of stress. In general, vertigo is marked by the following signs and symptoms.

  1. Vertigo Spinning Sensations

As a form of vertigo, BPPV is caused when small crystals in the ear help the brain balance itself become dislodged. For this reason, BPPV tends to feel worse when one side of the head is tilted in a particular direction. By figuring out which ear is affected by BPPV, a person with the condition can usually reduce feelings of dizziness by laying on one side of their body. Conversely, lying on the same side of the body as the affected ear will increase dizziness feelings. If you are experiencing spinning secondary to vertigo, you may want to seek other treatment options as soon as possible.

Tip to Alleviate Spinning Sensations: If you feel that you have BPPV, give yourself time to rest: Stress and movement may worsen your feelings of dizziness.

  1. Nausea

While feelings of dizziness can increase or decrease concerning BPPV depending on the position of the sufferer’s head, nausea can result from the “spinning” sensation that a person feels under the effects of BPPV and other forms of vertigo. In addition to the sense of dizziness that accompanies vertigo, nausea can make it difficult and even extremely unpleasant to move.

Tips for Alleviating Nausea: If you feel strong enough to perform a short and simple exercise, try utilizing the half somersault maneuver to help alleviate symptoms. For people suffering from BPPV, this move will reposition crystals in the inner ear and restore a sense of balance in the body.

  1. Falling

Because vertigo strikes at the very sense of balance that we depend on to steady ourselves, falling is a typical result of the condition. In older sufferers, falls can even be life-threatening. This is particularly true when an older person lives alone and is unable to call for help.

Tips to Avoid Falling: In this case, it is a good idea to seek advice from a medical professional about protecting yourself or a loved one from potential falls. When it comes to vertigo, it is better to be safe than to risk injury.

  1. Difficulty Socializing

Even when a case of vertigo has subsided, individuals may be worried about leaving the house for fear of bringing on symptoms of conditions such as BPPV. They may worry that travel by car or public transportation will bring on an episode of vertigo and nausea. Unfortunately, these fears can leave a person emotionally stranded and even depressed. They may avoid places like the grocery store or church.

Tips When Avoiding Socializing: If your loved one is emotionally isolated due to vertigo, make time to visit them where they live and make special accommodations for their condition. Explain to them that it is okay to lay down if they are feeling nauseous or dizzy.

Secondly, try communicating with a loved one with vertigo via phone or video chat apps. Even if they feel unable to leave the house for a visit, they will appreciate the chance to speak with you. If you are experiencing vertigo yourself, let friends know that leaving the house is difficult at the moment.

Propose a way to socialize that does not put you in emotional or physical jeopardy; for now, you may want to limit socializing to visits in your home. But do seek help for your condition: Dealing with vertigo in the long-term can be too taxing; social isolation can also lead to self-esteem issues and severe mental health conditions.

  1. Stress Episodes

The experience of vertigo can be intermittent. A person may go months without an episode of dizziness. However, a bout of stress can bring on overwhelming feelings of vertigo. Moreover, stress flare-ups can be doubly frightening: When we’re already feeling anxious and “wound up,” feelings of dizziness can serve to compound our stress levels.

Tips for Dealing With Stress Episodes: Practice exercises that help you calm down. Deep breathing exercises can reduce feelings of anxiety. Mindfulness meditation can also help you to regain a sense of balance and calm. When in doubt, seek out the help of a doctor or a therapist. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone!

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