Vertigo is an abnormal sensation of motion. It is a symptom and not a condition. It feels like that the person experiencing it or everything around them is spinning, which affects their balance. The spinning sensation may cause nausea and vomiting. Vertigo usually results from inner ear disorders like BPPV, Labyrinthitis, Vestibular neuronitis, and Meniere’s disease. People with migraines also experience vertigo. It can also happen as a side effect of certain medications. Vertigo exercises help to improve balance by stimulating the central nervous system.
Vertigo exercises are prescribed depending upon the underlying cause of vertigo, age, and physical capabilities. Following Vertigo exercises are for BPPV.
- Eye movements-Keeping your head static, move your eyeballs sideways, up-down, and diagonally, ten times in each direction.
- Gaze stabilization-Fix your gaze at one point in front of you at eye level, then move your head from side to side (45 degrees to each side) while keeping the gaze fixed. Similarly, it can be done by moving the head vertically up and down while keeping the gaze fixed at the target. It improves control of eye movements so vision can be clear during head movement.
- Balance training– It includes exercises like walking in a straight line, walking backward, turning your head from side to side while walking, turning your head up and down while walking, sitting and standing from a chair slowly, throwing and catching a ball above eye level. It helps in improving steadiness.
- Epley maneuver– This is used to treat BPPV. It involves performing specific head movements to reposition the canaliths within the inner ear. Each head position is held for 30 seconds. It helps in resolving the symptoms. One may experience some vertigo during the movements. This is done under the guidance of your doctor.
- Brandt-Daroff exercises -These exercises help with BPPV and involve quickly lying flat from an upright seated position, initially with your head pointed away 45 degrees from the side that causes vertigo. Lie down on the side opposite to the side on which you rotate your head. Remain in that position for 30seconds. Then return to the starting position, pause for 30 seconds, and repeat on the other side. This exercise may cause vertigo, nausea and, vomiting that sometimes accompany it. It needs to be repeated multiple times daily for the best benefit. These vertigo exercises encourage your brain to adapt to the abnormal messages sent from your ears.
Tips to go though the vertigo episode-
- Lie down still in a dark room during the episode of vertigo.
- Avoid sudden position changes. Move your head slowly.
- Do not get out of bed immediately. Sit down at the edge o the bed for few minutes before getting up.
- Avoid bright lights.
- Above all, relax, that is most important. Anxiety worsens vertigo.
Vertigo can impact your daily life. However, vertigo exercises can improve your symptoms and quality of life.
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