Home » General Updates, Headline, Treatment

The Treatment of Vertigo and Dizziness

29 January 2010 17 Comments
Dizziness and vertigo can make you feel like your being pulled apart. Gustoimages / Science Photo Library

Dizziness and vertigo can make you feel like you're being pulled apart. Gustoimages / Science Photo Library

Are you a vertigo or dizziness sufferer? Chances are you’ve been for treatment with little success, either that or this is your first episode.  Well this blog is for you.  I’m a practitioner that focuses on the treatment of vertigo and dizziness, and this is where I share my expertise to help you get better faster.  You’ll find articles on the various types of vertigo and dizziness, and as the blog expands I hope to add self-help programmes that you can use at home to treat your symptoms.

To get started use our Self-Help Assessment tool to help you get a better understanding of the cause of your vertigo or dizziness.  This will also enable you to sign up for our newsletter and email series to help you understand more what vertigo and dizziness is about.  Finally make sure you comment on the posts.  Your input is what makes this blog a great resource for vertigo and dizziness sufferers as they review their treatment options.



  • Anita said:

    Dr Matt! At last someone who understands and has knowledge of what may be going wrong. Thank heavens! I am desparate to find some relief as I need to fly at least once a year to see my sons. I am very ill on landing, and really can’t move for several hours. I’ve lost count of the number of connections we’ve missed because of this. And of course, it is particularly unpleasant for anyone around me. I have had limited help from “Airplanes” (ear plugs to relieve pain on landing – but I don’t ever get pain) and also have had grommets inserted and had 2 successful flights. The grommets are on their way out now, and I’m due to fly later this year.Does this information help you to understand what the problem is? I’ve been told its either panic or migraine. Thanks.

  • drmatt (author) said:

    Hi Anita, thanks for posting a comment! It sounds as though you have a balance centre problem. Not sure if you saw the tips in the flying with vertigo and dizziness article. You are probably suffering with the “input overload” you get with constant movement of flying. In coming months I’m going to launch a rehabilitation programme that you can use to reduce or prevent episodes like you mention. Make sure you subscribe to the newsletter or RSS feed for updates. Thanks again!

  • Ruth said:

    I am fairly certain that my vertigo is due to an ear problem. I’ve been having on & off pain in my left ear for about 10 years, after I had a very bad ear infection. There has been a feeling of pressure and itchiness in the ear which some Sudafed usually relieves temporarily. The last 3 weeks I have been severely dizzy whenever going from lying down to standing or vice versa, and when I bend down. It feels like being on a carnival ride. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

  • drmatt (author) said:

    Hi Ruth, vertigo and dizziness that is positional is often a form of BPPV, more details of which can be found here. You should have this assessed with the Dix Hallpike test. If it is BPPV, the Epley manouvre is usually very successful it treating this.

  • Julie Birch said:

    I woke up on Saturday morning,went to get out of bed and went dizzy, I staggered to the bathroom hitting walls on my way and threw up. Stayed still all weekend, went to doctors on Monday and she put me on prochlorperazine 5mg tablets, three to be taken during the day. I am due to fly to Spain on Saturday.

  • drmatt (author) said:

    Hi Julie, thanks for your comment. Sunds like you might have vestibular neuritis/labyrinthitis. You don’t give your age or other history so I couldn’t exclude stroke or MS but the most likely cause is a viral infection of the ear/nerve from the ear. I give more info on the healing times in labyrinthitis here, but you are probably looking anywhere from 2-8 weeks to fully recover and still then some people are left with deficiencies in the vestibular systems. Hope that helps.

  • Brian L said:

    I am 25 years old , I’v had vertigo for 5 years now , at first the dr’s thought i had a fistula a rip in a membrane inside my inner ear from hitting my head on a glass sliding door , however my symptoms did not clear up after strict bed rest and a couple years went by , feels like i am on a boat and like i am walking on a trampoline when i walk around I get really light headed feeling from it , and have now developed anxiety from having this every day for so long , however …. a couple years ago we discoverd my jaw was really hurting me and i went to a bite specialist my bite is off allignment pretty bad , and i have a lot of pain in my jaw joint TMJ so… i notice in the morning i wake up and feel ok but or at least as good as i can feel , and then later as the day goes on eating food , talking ect , my jaw gets more sore and irritated and my veritigo or balance issue gets worse with the increased jaw pain , also… sometimes my jaw will relax or even spazm and i feel this fluid shifting and draining in my ear it tickles extremely and my vertigo feels a lot better afterwards, so…. they are using stem cells to make my jaw grow and adjust my bite , I just wonder how many others have TMJ and don’t know it , the vertigo is so intense that I didnt even notice the pain in my jaw , I still don’t know if it is 100% the cause of my vertigo , but i know it is definitly aggrivating it i even get the rocking motion in sync with my chewing when eating , and it gets so sore up there i get a heart beat in that area if i lay on my right side i feel the heart beat and the vertigo in synch with the heart beat , I have a lot more info on this and I really want to speak with others and dr’s because I can’t find anyone exactly like me with this its really hard to go through alone , and the anxiety and panic attacks i have developed is so terrible

  • drmatt (author) said:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your comment. Which you are describing is so common amongst vertigo sufferers – to have your vertigo do on for so long without any clear answers. Anxiety and panic attacks are common amongst people with balance disorders so again you are not unusual. Before you have any irreversible work done like changing your jaw I would recommend seeing a functional neurologist for an evaluation. You can find the closest one to you on the Doctor Locator page of http://www.acnb.org

    Hope that helps,

    Dr Matt

  • Dee said:

    so i need to fly in october. for the past week or so i have been having vertigo. or atleast i think thats what it is. i woke up sunday morning with the entire room spinning, after a night of drinking. i thought it was a hangover at first but as the week went on i noticed i would get it when looking up,beinging over and rolling in bed. it has been a week that ive had it, with the symptoms getting lesser and lesser but i didnt feel it at all yesterday or lastnight. so you think ill experiance it while/during or after flying? i also had a migraine yesterday all day, i attribute this to some head trama i had back in september 08

  • drmatt (author) said:

    Hi Dee, it could be due to the alcohol bringing out a problem that had been present since the head trauma, or it could simply be something like viral labyrinthitis. You may be ok flying but it would probably be best to get checked by a registered healthcare professional sooner rather than later.

  • gatsby said:

    Hi! Since 2004, flying became a very scary experience for me. Almost every time I’m flying, I’m getting very strange feelings like spinning of the airplane when reaches high altitude, loosing balance, panic attack, sweating (people around me told I’m getting very pale, white). Usually it lasts for few minutes (10-15 min.) and after that is getting slightly better but anyway for the rest of the travel I’m already traumatized and scared… I’m usually flying with medium flights (max 150-170 seats). I’m also traveling quite often offshore to platforms and rigs, but so far I haven’t experienced any problems during boat travels and during chopper flights. The same problem with vertigo (spinning and loosing balance) I experienced some times when violently I was blowing my nose (it lasts less than 3-4 min.). Unfortunately I still have to travel by airplane quite often. Is there any therapy which could help?

  • drmatt (author) said:

    Hi Gatsby,

    It sounds like this is due to pressure changes (I imagine the chopper flights are at lower altitude and involve slower ascents). If that is the case you may be suffering from a perilymphatic fistula. I haven’t written much about perilymphatic fistula on this site, but it is where one of the membranes in the inner ear develops a hole allowing the different fluids of the ear to mix under pressure. This produces vertigo. That really needs to be evaluated by an ENT specialist and surgery may be needed to treat it.

    Hope that helps,

    Dr Matt

  • Sheri said:

    Hello I have been having problems with my left ear with pressure and fluid behind it causing my left lymph node to swell on my lower skull. It has been a month since I went to Dr. I had a CT scan and an MRI done. Gave me Flonase for swelling…Not working. Last Sunday Sept 22 I was very dizzy. So I saw Dr. again and he mentioned Vertigo possibly from ear problem. I was put on Antibiotics when this started a month ago but no change to my ear and now I have Vertigo.I am 41 years old and have 2 young kids. I cannot cope like this. Last night just laying down I started feeling dizzy and I just did not move..per Dr. orders if it happens again. makes me dehydrated and nausea all day. I asked for a referral for an EMT and my appt is next Tuesday Aug 30th to get more answers for my ear. Is there a possiblw cure for this?? I feel like my ear is expanded inside. What can be done if any??

  • drmatt (author) said:

    It sounds like you have done the right thing to get an ENT evaluation. The swollen lymph node behind your ear makes it sound like there might be an infection, and if it was viral the antibiotics wouldn’t have made a difference. Once any infection has been excluded you should try getting a vestibular assessment to see if there is a cause there for your dizziness.

    Hope that helps,

    Dr Matt

  • Cindy Barber said:

    I am 53 years old and have suffered with vertigo for over 10 years. When it first started medication treated it. Now nothing works…I spin not the world around me. My eyesight is affected, and also my hearing. I have had a complete ENT workup with no answers. Now I am seeing a Neurologist and he has tried different medications which make the vertigo worse. MRI of my brain is normal. My quality of life is non-existent. I forget how it feels not to be dizzy.

  • drmatt (author) said:

    Hi Cindy, what you report is similar to many of my patients. The compensation in the brain that many balance problems cause can result in symptoms like yours. I often prescribe brain exercises like the Lumosity ones to improve the activation of the cortex to regulate the lower brain areas. If you are a smoker you need to stop and your diet needs to be low sugar, but dont use artificial sweeteners as many of these are brain toxic.

  • vince said:

    i suffer from this about every 2 years or so. it hits me hard without warning. usually driving which is not good.it can last from 3 months to 6 months. no meds seem to help. dramamine is a joke. meclazine is the same thinf really. i can take 6 of them and it has no effect sept sleep. i get dizzy in bed, at work, driving. i cant watch tv at all. no matter what kind of tv it is. did vestibular rehab twice. not sure if it helps or if its the time it takes. last time i was in rehab over 2 months.i have no life. i exsist and its in total fear of it coming back or getting worse on the road or at work. the intense dizziness is only part of the problem. the other part is the pure terror i feel almost all the time. is it going to hit me hard at work? is it going to attack me driving AGAIN. probably going to lose my job over it BUT cause i dont have it every day all the time its not considered a disability. this will destroy your life and noone can do a thing about it. valium does slow it down sometimes. but its getting so it dont work either. i am 48 and am boarderline shut-in due to this. i go to work and sit in a chair staring at the wall. and that takes every fiber of my being to do it.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.