Vertigo, dizziness, and balance-related conditions are among the most common health problems in adults. According to the University of California, San Francisco, nearly 40% of Americans experience vertigo at least once in their lifetimes, and women are more susceptible than men.
The condition arises when a problem develops in the vestibular system that governs balance, posture, and spatial orientation. The causes, however, are unknown. The most common reason for vertigo is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV.
Dr. Carol A. Foster, the director of the Balance Laboratory at the University of Colorado Hospital and an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, tells Newsmax that the symptoms can be terrifying.
“Besides feeling like the world is spinning, sufferers may also experience nausea and vomiting when the vertigo is severe. Moving the head will often increases the nausea, so people with vertigo often choose to lie down with their eyes closed,” she says.
People with migraines may experience the dizziness spells during a headache. Those who have vertigo caused by sleep apnea tend to have a mixture of vertigo spells throughout the day that can last for hours.
Foster says that treatment for vertigo varies from person to person, but she has developed a unique and effective exercise to treat BPPV based on her own experience with the disorder.
“BPPV is treated very simply by moving the head in a certain sequence. It is a purely mechanical disorder in which particles that are normally used to sense gravity in the ear become dislodged and end up in a spinning sensor,” she says. “By tilting the head in certain positions, the particles can be moved out of the spinning sensor and back where they belong, restoring balance.” You can watch the actual demonstration here.
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