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Vertigo Treatments Around Birmingham, AL

Vertigo Treatment

Most people enjoy going on rides at their favorite amusement parks, but if feelings of movement or spinning sensations happen when not expected or desired, it can be quite disturbing. The anxious questions are quick to follow: what’s happening to me? Will vertigo make me fall down and hurt myself? Can I drive with vertigo? How long will my vertigo last? 

Generally, there are no easy answers to the above. Vertigo of any kind is incredibly unsafe to drive with if the world is spinning, though people with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS) might experience symptom relief while in motion. However, patients should never operate heavy machinery like a car if experiencing vertigo symptoms. 

Vertigo and dizziness might be accompanied by ringing in the ears that worsens with certain triggers or might be constant; the vertigo or dizziness itself might last minutes or months depending on the cause. People with poor balance are more likely to fall and injure themselves with spinning vertigo, while persistent dizziness leads to awkward gaits during walking. Truly, the only way to diagnose and treat conditions as complex as vertigo around Birmingham, AL, is with the help of an experienced vertigo specialist such as Dr. Scott Robertson

Woman with vertigo sitting down

Vertigo vs. Dizziness How to know the Difference

People might use the words interchangeably, but it’s important that you explain to your Birmingham vertigo doctor your specific symptoms. The typical difference between vertigo and general dizziness is that patients experiencing vertigo feel like the world is spinning, especially if they move their heads in certain directions. People feeling like they are the ones moving, swaying, or bobbing as opposed to the world twisting around them are said to be experiencing dizziness.

Vertigo & Dizziness CausesCauses

Causes for Vertigo and Dizziness

There are many different things that can impact the complex vestibular system that we rely on for balance. From physical damage to anxiety and fear, these and more can cause sensations of vertigo and dizziness. We’ve put together some of the basic types and causes of vertigo and dizziness here:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Often abbreviated as BPPV, this type of vertigo is benign in that it isn’t caused by anything fatal, but it can certainly cause severe injury or worse if it causes you to fall. Referencing “positional” in the name, this type of vertigo is caused by how your head moves, causing the world to spin for a few seconds to a few minutes or more thanks to crystals in the inner ear moving around. However, infections in the inner ear might also be a cause of BPPV. Nausea and vomiting are common, and patients can wind up in the emergency room from the severity. It is incredibly dangerous to drive with BPPV actively causing your head to spin, so never take that risk. 

Vestibular Migraine

Vestibular migraine can cause vertigo with or without pain. It can be caused by a variety of things, but the most common cause is stress held in the neck or head. Panic, anxiety, and altered cognition are quick to follow, along with neck pain and motion sensitivity. Even nystagmus (eye twitching) in various directions can be a symptom that causes a feedback loop of worsening vestibular sensations. 

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness 

Often abbreviated as PPPD, this kind of dizziness is defined as lasting longer than 30 days and involves sensations of moving, bobbing, or floatiness even while holding still for a long time. Symptoms are made worse in busy areas or by looking at complex, repeating patterns. It is very similar to Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS), which is associated with the feeling of still being on a boat even after disembarking. The primary cause of PPPD is anxiety and unconscious anger that has caused a feedback loop of firing neurons leading to poor vestibular function.

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Treatments for Vertigo and Dizziness Near Birmingham, AL

One of the most crucial aspects of recovering from vertigo and dizziness is to understand the role that anxiety plays. After any ear crystals have been moved or infections cleared up, residual sensations can continue if a patient has a poor mental outlook on their health and life. Neurons that control balance mingle with anxious signals, keeping the body in a fight-or-flight state that continues feelings of dizziness or vertigo long after the original cause has been resolved. 

BPPV is treated by moving the head in various directions to reposition the crystals in the ear canals. A Birmingham vertigo doctor nearby will be able to perform various manipulations in a safe, controlled environment to make sure your vertigo is managed. 

Vestibular migraines are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to manage anxiety and reduce stress. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy teaches vertigo patients that they are safe to move and restores confidence, lowering fear. Medications are also prescribed if needed, but these are not meant to be used long-term, as they can impede vestibular rehabilitation. 

PPPD is treated in three different ways concurrently: returning to functional life as normal pre-dizziness, focusing on and acknowledging emotional states rather than rocking sensations, and cognitive therapy to help with negative feelings. Even though anxiety connections happen quickly in the brain that fire neurons leading to dizziness, this can be unlearned as patients are taught to remind themselves that they are functional, safe, and in control of their lives. The dizziness then can leave the patient entirely. 

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Top-Rated Dizziness and Vertigo Clinic Around Birmingham, AL

Dizziness and Vertigo Treatment

No matter the cause of your vertigo or dizziness, a trained vertigo doctor nearby will be able to properly diagnose you and recommend the best treatments for your unique situation. If you’re ready to get some stability back in your life, then reach out to our vertigo clinic near Birmingham, AL, today via phone or email! 

Woman getting check up by Dr Robertson
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