Oman Health: Balancing Act

06 Jul 2017
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Dr Hilmi Abdulsalam, an ENT-specialist at Burjeel Medical Center in Muscat, talks about vertigo and how to overcome it.

Have you ever experienced spinning sensations and dizziness?

Good balance is important for daily life. And for this to happen effectively, it requires a complex integration of sensory information regarding the position of the body relative to your surroundings.

The systems involved are vision, vestibular sense (inner ear), proprioception (sense of position), muscle strength and reaction time.

Dizziness is a subjective term (nobody other than the patient can experience what that person is experiencing). For some people, dizziness/vertigo is a feeling of unsteadiness while others can experience the whole room spinning around them. 

Many times in my OPD, I have patients who can’t explain what they are feeling. Dizziness/vertigo can affect a person’s independence, ability to work, and their quality of life. A lot of people say they feel dizzy but what they are feeling is really unsteadiness on their feet. Dizziness and balance disorders may also lead to other problems including fatigue, difficulty walking, depression, or disinterest in everyday activities. Generally, if someone has feelings of nausea, wooziness, and a sensation of spinning; this is called vertigo.

Causes of vertigo

Vertigo is a symptom of several different conditions. There are two types of vertigo, known as peripheral and central, depending on the cause.

Who to see for vertigo treatment?

Seeing a doctor is appropriate early on, reserving speciality care for chronic cases. 

Is there a certain age this is usually brought on by?

It is extremely rare but not impossible for young children to have vertigo. It becomes more common in the early 20s and can affect all ages after that.

Can stress cause vertigo?

Mental stress can make many forms of vertigo worse but will not produce vertigo.

Is dizziness the same for all people?

No. For some people it is lightheadedness. Some people feel faint. Some feel as if they are moving when they are not. Others feel a spinning sensation in which either they are doing the spinning or the world around them is spinning.

Is dizziness very common?

For people over 65, dizziness is one of the most frequent reasons for physician visits and hospital admissions.

How does one determine if dizziness is due to an inner ear problem?

Dizziness is a symptom. Proper evaluation is required to determine its cause.

Is there any treatment for dizziness?

Depending on the underlying cause, treatment options may include medication, changes in diet, physical therapy or even surgery in the most severe cases. 

Is anxiety associated with vertigo?

Yes, vertigo causes extreme anxiety in most people. Anxiety, by itself, does not produce vertigo.

Home remedies for vertigo

1.  A good night’s sleep

2.  Lemon

Prepare a lemon drink (a glass full of lukewarm water, add black pepper, a pinch of salt and squeeze half a lemon) and drink it. Also, sprinkle lemon peel in your salad. Lemon is a natural remedy for vertigo.

3.  Water and juices

Keep your body hydrated. You should drink at least 10 to 15 glasses of water a day. Drink fresh and organic juices as they are rich in fibre.

4.  Strawberries

Mash some fresh and ripe strawberries in fresh yogurt. This is a very quick, healthy and easy homemade remedy.

5.  Ginger

Drink ginger tea or eat a piece of raw ginger. This will help to control the nausea associated with vertigo.

6.  Basil

Basil is a herbal remedy for vertigo. You can either chew basil leaves or add them to your tea.

7.  Almond milk

Take some almonds and soak them in water, overnight. Now, make a fine paste and mix this almond paste in a glass of lukewarm milk. Drink it. Almond milk helps to cure vertigo.

8.  Salah/Yoga

Regular Salah is the best yoga. Take the help offered by yoga and meditation. These are the best vertigo home treatments.

Dizziness usually goes away on its own.  If it doesn’t, consider the tips below:

Be aware of possible warning signs before dizziness, which can lead to falls and serious injuries. Avoid moving suddenly or driving

Fall-proof your home by removing tripping hazards

Sit or lie down immediately if feeling dizzy

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, salt and tobacco

Discontinue medication that causes dizziness

Consult a doctor

For more information call 2208 5252 or email:

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