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Dec
15

VERTIGO

Posted by admin

This extreme dizzy sensation is famously associated with a phobic fear of heights. While an attack of vertigo can indeed be triggered by the fear of falling from a high place, vertigo itself is usually the symptom of one of a number of disorders affecting the inner ear. An attack of vertigo usually involves the sensation of the head spinning around and around, and a loss of balance: the patient may suddenly fall right over. Sweating, nausea and vomiting may also occur.

The most common condition behind attacks of vertigo is Meniere’s disease, a degenerative condition of the middle ear usually affecting people for the first time in their fifties. Apart from the dizzy spells and periodic loss of balance, a person with Meniere’s disease (sometimes known as Meniere’s syndrome) may experience ongoing ringing in the ears (called tinnitus), and gradual hearing impairment. The cause of Meniere’s disease is little understood but believed by some medical practitioners to be caused by congestion of the lymphatic system. While medications such as Dramamine help manage the vertigo, they will not cure the disease and will not prevent the loss of hearing.

Simple motion sickness can lead to vertigo as can bacterial infections of the inner ear and viral infections such as influenza. The sensations may continue even after the patient appears to have recovered from the more acute symptoms of the ‘flu. See separate entries in this book for the treatment of these conditions.

Recurrent attacks of vertigo may also be caused by the pressure of a tumour or non-cancerous growth on the auditory or acoustic nerve. High blood pressure or hardening of the arteries may also be responsible and strokes can bring on vertigo in the elderly. If attacks of vertigo are unexplained and recurrent, you should seek medical advice. Some health practitioners recommend acupuncture with moxibustion for the management of dizziness and vertigo.

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