Posts Tagged ‘nausea and vertigo’

October 29, 1916

On October 29, 1916, an article was published in the NY Times that states that from the research and works of several individuals, it has been verified that vertigo (or seasickness as they call it) results from an imbalance in the inner ear. In the article it states that vertigo was often thought of as an intestinal or digestive disorder brought upon by indigestion or stomachaches.

In 1900, the relationship between vertigo and the inner ear was first established and many tests ensued. In one experiment, animals were rocked on a moving floor that simulated a rolling sea and it resulted in the animals getting seasick. The head researcher, Kreidl, then severed the eighth nerve (the acoustic/auditory nerve). The same experiment was then conducted on the moving floor and the animals did not get sick.

1916 was the beginning of the acknowledgement that vertigo was the distinct result of the “disturbance of the vestibular apparatus”.  A lot of things were proven in the years leading up to 1916, such as champagne giving relief to vertigo symptoms (see last paragraph of the article) and the causes of vertigo “no longer be[ing] regarded as vague or mysterious”.

Post-Traumatic Vertigo

A number of our new evaluations that have come in suffer from post-traumatic vertigo. It has been reported that approximately 50% of head and neck injuries result in dizziness and disequilibrium. Post-traumatic dizziness due to  injuries of the head and neck are most commonly linked to post-traumatic concussions, but there are other diagnoses that should be taken into account. In the link provided below is an article written about the different diagnoses of post-traumatic injuries: temporal bone fracture, labyrinthine concussion, BPPV, perilymphatic fistula, post-traumatic Meniere’s syndrome (hydrops), epileptic vertigo, cervical vertigo, migraine-related vertigo, post-concussion syndrome.

This article definitely gives an in depth look at specific symptoms for each of the above diagnoses, along with how long it takes for the symptoms to appear (sometimes symptoms take days or even weeks to appear after injury), and successful management of the symptoms for each diagnoses.;col1

BPPV and Multiple Sclerosis

Approximately 20% of individuals with MS have reported symptoms of vertigo, which is nearly double the average of the population at large (1). Since vertigo is prevalent with MS, doctors may automatically treat it with medication. Studies have shown that over 50% of MS patients with vertigo actually have vertigo because of BPPV (2). The good thing about this is that BPPV is treatable through vestibular rehabiliation (physical therapy). So if you have MS and you are experiencing vertigo, make sure to inquire with your doctor about BPPV. If the doctor doesn’t test for BPPV, have them send you to a neurologist/ENT /physical therapist that does. It could potentially save you a lot of time, $$ and some sanity! 




Vestibular Disorder Stressing You Out?

Vertigo, dizziness, Meniere’s disease, tinnitus and other vestibular symptoms and disorders can be extremely stressful. The feeling that nobody really understands what you’re going through with these “invisible” symptoms can cause extreme anxiety in individuals.

Here are some helpful tips on how to calm your anxiety:

  1. Exercise. Few things can help relax you more quickly than a bit of vigorous exercise. [If your symptoms are flaring up, maybe even go for a slow walk outdoors.]
  2. Meditate. Try taking a few minutes out of your day to clear your mind of your worries and meditate.
  3. Breathe deeply. Count your breaths and concentrate on breathing in and out deeply.
  4. Focus on something else. Temporarily [shift] your attention to something else unrelated to what you’re upset about.
  5. Talk to others. Connecting with a friend or family member and sharing your anxieties can be a great way to get insight, advice and to alleviate some of your stress by getting support and understanding.
  6. Slow down. Give yourself a break and just slow down if you’re feeling stressed out. Getting yourself worked up to rush around won’t help, so slow down, take a break and let yourself relax.
  7. Don’t work yourself up. Stop yourself if you feel that you’re getting yourself riled up, and force yourself to calm down and look at things rationally.
  8. Let the past go. If you’re feeling bad about things that have already happened, take a moment to realize that there’s nothing you can do to change these things now. Take steps to begin letting the past go and making positive choices for the future.

The following web site has a list of 50 “quick and easy ways to calm your anxiety”, including dietary suggestions and tips for both the home and workplaces.

Non-Technical Vestibular Rehabilitation Equipment

As well as the super expensive diagnostic and rehabilitation treatment tools that I’ve previously discussed, we also use a number of very simple, extremely effective tools and techniques.

One simple tool to use is an object with a marked center. For example, we use a white, circular measuring tape that has a red dot in the center. When the patient is first starting therapy, they will sit in a chair and do different exercises with this object. Exercises will include slowly moving the head back and forth, or up and down, while keeping their eyes focused on the red dot. Exercises progress to include moving the head as well as the object, while keeping their eyes focused on the red dot. As the patient progresses, they will also eventually walk down the hallway while doing the exercises.

Another similar exercise that we have patients do is walking down the hallway with a sheet of paper that contains lines of letters. The patient will walk while reading the letters and turning their head slowly left and right. It causes the patient to learn how to focus their attention on one thing while various external stimuli surround them.

All of these exercises work to re-train the brain and the vestibular system. These exercises should be taught by a trained professional – it is unlikely that your vestibular symptoms will decrease simply by trying these exercises at home by yourself. Although they are simple enough to learn, the trained professional will be able to direct you and correct any wrong movements.

Dizzy Patient Testimonial to Vestibular Rehabilitation

“In December ’08 when I started, I felt very unbalanced while walking even a short distance, like down a hall. I became dizzy and got headaches while driving. I would feel dizzy and floaty while sitting still sometimes. My vision made things look very jerky while moving, and shifting slightly while sitting.

In June ’09 when I finished, I feel much more confident in walking and driving. I’ve walked a mile or two with some manageable dizzy symptoms, but I didn’t have to stop…Overall I feel I have a much better quality of life after this therapy!!” – K.N.

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