Benign positional vertigo (BPV) is a
common variety of vertigo which brings suffering to millions of people.
There are many other forms of vertigo, some due to high blood pressure,
atherosclerosis, the side effects of certain drugs, ear disease and so
Tinnitus causes noises in the
ears, and as many as one in three people over the age of 60 is affected.
The noises are due to abnormalities of the hearing nerves and may be
associated with hearing loss or with vertigo. The causes of tinnitus are
head injuries, ear wax, age-related damage to the nerves, certain
antibiotics, aspirin and quinine.
The sense of balance can be worsened in
older women who smoke, according to a US study. This is thought to be
due to the narrowing effects of nicotine on the arteries of the inner
Many treatments have been tried for
vertigo, some by complementary practitioners. Herbal supplements include
ginkgo biloba and the extract of periwinkle, vinpocetine.
Five complementary ways to avoid
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and salt
- Use ginger or lemon balm
- Have a course of acupuncture
- Try Ayurvedic treatment with
- If vertigo is caused by low blood
pressure, use cold baths and eat food rich in wholegrain
Recovery from vertigo may be delayed by
immobility. On the other hand, it can be helped by exercises.
The exercises given here are best
performed under expert supervision because they may not suit the
particular type of vertigo you suffer from. Some examples are:
- walking backwards with the head
- head movements such as bending and
- bending forwards
- walking in a circle
- walking in a straight line while
throwing and catching a ball with a partner
Relaxation and psychological advice are
necessary to deal with any panic attacks and worry related to vertigo.
Regarding tinnitus, one way to deal
with the problem is to use noise generators like hearing aids to create
a pleasant noise which masks the unpleasant tinnitus. Other treatments
include manipulation of the spine by a chiropractor, ginkgo biloba
supplements and prescription drugs from the doctor.
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