Vertigo is a condition that can disrupt your daily life. When people hear the word vertigo, they often associate it with being scared of heights, but it is actually a medical symptom that might be the result of several conditions. Vertigo is usually caused by something wrong in the inner ear, which is why you will often see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist if you are experiencing vertigo. 

ENTs can treat vertigo in numerous ways, helping to address the underlying problem that's causing the vertigo. This guide will explain some of the ways an ENT can help you if you have vertigo.

What is vertigo?

Vertigo is a symptom that often feels like dizziness, but can also cause you to feel sick or feel a sensation that the world is tilting or even that you're being pulled in one direction. Although many people think it's a condition on its own, it's really a symptom of other things. You might occasionally experience vertigo when you have a mild illness, but if it lasts for more than a day, it's a good idea to see a doctor about what might be causing it. Other symptoms might accompany vertigo too, including headaches, earache, nasal congestion, ringing in the ears and hearing loss.

What causes vertigo?

Vertigo has numerous causes, and it's important to find out what the underlying cause might be to treat the symptom. Viral infections are one common cause of vertigo, and they will often clear up on their own without the need for much medical intervention. However, vertigo can also be caused by migraines, Meniere's disease and problems with the inner ear. Vertigo could be a symptom of acoustic neuroma, a tumor in the nerve tissue of the ear or neck injuries and head trauma.

Treating infections

Viral or bacterial infections are a common cause of vertigo. Much of the time, the best thing to do when you have a virus is simply to wait until it goes away. This could take a few days or weeks, but you can still find yourself feeling better. 

An ENT can diagnose a viral or bacterial infection and they might recommend the use of travel sickness pills to help deal with the vertigo in the meantime. ENTs also sometimes recommend exercises that you can do to relieve the symptoms while you heal. For a bacterial infection, antibiotics could be prescribed too and antiviral medication could be useful for some viral infections.

Medications

Other medications might be used to treat vertigo, in addition to those for infections. Medications to relieve nausea and motion sickness can be helpful. If the vertigo is caused by labyrinthitis, a viral inner ear infection, steroids and injections behind the eardrum can help to reduce hearing loss.

Managing migraines

When vertigo is caused by migraines, your ENT can recommend some ways to manage your migraines. This might include making adjustments to your diet, dealing with stress and making other lifestyle changes that can help to reduce the incidence or severity of migraines. Various medications are also available to treat migraines.

Balance rehabilitation

Physical therapy and exercise can be used to help people experiencing vertigo to regain their balance. This treatment teaches methods that can be used to counteract symptoms and re-establish balance. This can be especially important for people who are at risk of falling, helping them to stay on their feet.

Epley maneuver 

This specific set of head and body movements is designed to move calcium deposits out of the inner ear canals, where they have been abnormally displaced, and into the inner ear chamber. They can then be absorbed by the body, helping to treat benign positional vertigo.

Surgery to treat vertigo

Surgery is usually the last resort to help with treating vertigo, depending on the cause of the vertigo itself. ENTs will suggest other methods of treatment where possible, before considering whether vertigo could be best treated with surgical methods. There are different surgical options, but they come with their own risks. 

Options can range from inserting a grommet into the ear to more invasive surgeries that may destroy the inner ear and cause the patient to lose hearing. Surgical interventions need to be considered carefully before deciding on the appropriate course of action.

ENTs can offer a range of treatments for vertigo, depending on the cause and other symptoms experienced. To learn more about Vero ENT Associates and the services they provide then do not hesitate to call us today at (772) 408-9556.