Dizziness treatment overviewDizziness Treatment

If you experience dizziness, consider these dizziness treatment tips:

• Be aware that dizziness may make you lose your balance, which can lead to falling and serious injury.
• Avoid moving suddenly.
• Stand up slowly.
• Fall-proof your home by removing tripping hazards such as area rugs and exposed electrical cords. Use nonslip mats on your bath and shower floors.
• Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy.
• Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery if you experience frequent dizziness.
• Use good lighting on stairs and where you walk if you get out of bed at night.
• Walk with a cane for stability, if necessary.
• Avoid using caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Excessive use of these substances can worsen your signs and symptoms.

Doctors base treatment of dizziness on the cause and your symptoms.

• BPPV. Treatment of BPPV involves a simple procedure in which your doctor or physical therapist maneuvers the position of your head (canalith repositioning). This procedure is usually effective after one or two treatments.

• Inner ear conditions. Balance retraining exercises (vestibular rehabilitation) are used to treat acute vestibular neuronitis or labyrinthitis. These are exercises you learn from a physical therapist or occupational therapist and then do at home. To provide immediate relief of nausea and dizziness, your doctor may prescribe medications such as meclizine (Antivert) and diazepam (Valium) or may recommend dimenhydrinate (Dramamine), which is available over-the-counter. A short course of corticosteroids may improve your vestibular function.

• Meniere’s disease. Treatment of Meniere’s disease involves reducing your body’s retention of fluids through diuretic use and often dietary changes, such as a low-salt diet. Occasionally, injections through the eardrum or surgery may be recommended.

• Vestibular migraine. To combat vertigo associated with a vestibular migraine, your doctor will likely try to help you determine and avoid the triggers for your attacks, focusing on diet, stress, sleep and exercise. Certain medicines may help prevent attacks of vestibular migraine or make them less uncomfortable by providing relief for nausea and vomiting. You may also learn specific exercises to help make your balance system less sensitive to motion (vestibular rehabilitation).

• Anxiety disorders. Your doctor may suggest medications and psychotherapy, either alone or in combination, to help you deal with your anxiety and manage your dizziness.