Vertigo is a spinning sensation that at its worst can be disabling. This problem can be caused by an ear infection, food allergies or a congenital condition. Ear infections are easily remedied with antibiotics. Those with food allergies or more chronic dizziness usually have Meniere's syndrome, a fluid build-up in the inner ear. Fortunately, there are several types of exercises that can alleviate this condition.
Some people suffer from vertigo for many years without knowing its origin. Anyone who has chronic dizziness that is not caused by an infection should consider being tested for food allergies. Inflammation from certain foods can affect the fluid levels in the inner ear. The pressure build-up in the cochlea from endolymph fluid can cause vertigo. Any foods that are potentially causing this condition can be eliminated from the diet. Inner ear exercises can alleviate your symptoms until you pinpoint the main cause of your dizziness.
Otolaryngologists (ear doctors) typically recommend several head-rotation exercises for vertigo problems. All of these are called habituation exercises. One exercise is to simply shake your head from side to side about 25 times. Another exercise entails swinging your head from side to side for 25 repetitions. Nodding your head up and down rapidly, a third exercise, is also recommended. Do these exercises once per day at home.
One way to improve your balance is to walk across the room and back with your eyes open; then do it with them closed. Walk up and down steps for several minutes with your eyes open. Then try the same thing with your eyes closed. Any exercise in which you bend forward, turn or move around can help with your balance.
Dizziness affects your vision. Some exercises are designed to remedy visual problems associated with vertigo. Standing or sitting, look up, then down, about 20 to 25 times. Start this exercise out slowly, then gradually speed up your eye movements. You may experience a little dizziness. Next, do the same thing moving your eyes from side to side. Finally, hold your index finger out in front of you. Slowly move it toward you, then away, staying focused on just your finger.
Effects of Exercises
All habituation exercises can alleviate potential blockage problems in the Reissner's membrane, which separates the upper and middle chambers of the cochlea. Some doctors suggest that potential plumbing problems exist in this area, which can exert pressure on the cochlear or auditory nerve. These signals are sent to the brain and can affect a person's equilibrium and vision. The connection between dizziness and vision is called the vestibular occular reflex.
- Nytimes.com; "Exercise Therapy Can Help Dizziness From Inner-Ear Ills"; Melinda Henneberger; January 26, 1994.
- Thedoctorwillseeyounow.com; "Vertigo: It's Causes And Treatment"; Huai Y. Cheng, M.D.; March 2001
- Entkent.com; "Vertigo Rehabilitation Exercises"; James W. Fairly, ENT Surgeon; January 2, 2009