What is the treatment for vertigo?

treatment for vertigo

While some vertigo is self limited and may be treated with medications, vertigo from BPPV or labyrinthitis is often treated with physical therapy. Using Epley maneuvers, the head is taken through a variety of positions and manipulated to clear debris (crystals) from the semicircular canals and to reduce the inflammation that the debris causes.

HOME-BASED REMEDIES AND EXERCISES

Home exercises are often a vital part of treatment for vertigo. Appropriate VRT exercises will be assigned by the physical or occupational therapist to be performed at a prescribed pace, along with a progressive fitness program to increase energy and reduce stress.

Click for more information about different types of home remedies

Click for more information vertigo treatment with interactive exercise games

MEDICATION

The use of medication in treating vestibular disorders depends on whether the vestibular system dysfunction is in an initial or acute phase (lasting up to 5 days) or chronic phase (ongoing).

Dramamine or Dimenhydrinate is an antihistamine commonly prescribed in order to prevent and treat the nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness (emesis) and vertigo.

Medications like diazepam (Valium) and meclizine (Antivert) are used to decrease inflammation within the vestibular system.

Some patients are placed in a soft collar to limit range of motion of their heads while the vertigo gradually resolves.

If there is concern that there is a viral infection causing the labyrinthitis or neuritis, antiviral medications like acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) may be considered.

Patients with acoustic neuroma or other structural problems of the ear may require surgery.

Patients with central causes of vertigo need further investigation and treatment will be tailored to their specific underlying diagnosis.

CANALITH REPOSITIONING MANEUVERS (E.G., THE EPLEY MANEUVER)

A specialized form of VRT is available to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This treatment is often referred to as the Epley maneuver, and involves a series of specifically patterned head and trunk movements to move tiny displaced otoliths to a place in the inner ear where they can’t cause symptoms. Read more…

DIETARY ADJUSTMENTS

Many people with Ménière’s disease, secondary endolymphatic hydrops, and migraine-associated dizziness find that certain modifications in diet are helpful in managing their disorder. Avoidance of non-dietary substances such as nicotine and some types of medications may also reduce symptoms. Read more…

TALK THERAPY—COUNSELING

Symptoms from vestibular disorders are invisible and unpredictable. This does not mean that they are imaginary, but that they often contribute to a wide range of psychological impacts. People who have a vestibular disorder often need support and may benefit from counseling to cope with lifestyle changes, depression, guilt, and grief that comes from no longer being able to meet their own or others’ expectations.

VESTIBULAR REHABILITATION THERAPY (VRT)

As a treatment for vertigo VRT uses specific head, body, and eye exercises designed to retrain the brain to recognize and process signals from the vestibular system and coordinate them with information from vision and proprioception. The choice and form of VRT exercises will differ from person to person. Read more…

SURGERY

When medical treatment isn’t effective as treatment for vertigo and other symptoms caused by vestibular system dysfunction, surgery may be considered. The type of surgery performed depends upon each individual’s diagnosis and physical condition. Surgical procedures for peripheral vestibular disorders are either corrective or destructive. The goal of corrective surgery is to repair or stabilize inner ear function. The goal of destructive surgery is to stop the production of sensory information or prevent its transmission from the inner ear to the brain.