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How is vertigo treated?

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Individuals with vertigo are treated based on the cause of the condition that prompts problems with balance and inner ear changes, explains WebMD. The most common treatment involves vestibular rehabilitation, which involves physical therapy to strengthen the function of the vestibular system and enable improvement in brain signals that control gravity and body movements.

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Additional treatments for vertigo include medication to relieve symptoms, such as motion sickness or nausea, and antibiotics or steroids to help reduce inflammation or the occurrence of an infection, according to WebMD. Canalith repositioning maneuvers may provide relief for some patients. These maneuvers encourage movement of calcium deposits out of the ear canal and into an inner ear chamber where they are absorbed into the body. In extreme cases, surgery may be suggested for vertigo treatment, especially if an injury to the neck or brain or a tumor is causing worsening symptoms.

Many physicians begin treatment for vertigo with rehabilitation exercises that help train the brain to use cues to maintain balance, explains American Family Physician. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises help improve posture and movements that provoke dizziness and ease symptoms that cause stress and distress to the mind and body. Rehabilitation exercises are especially recommended for patients with vertigo episodes that last longer than one day and severely disrupt normal activities.

The Epley maneuver, also known as a canalith repositioning procedure, is the most common treatment for vertigo, according to MedicineNet.com. WebMD explains that the Epley maneuver works by lying on the back at a 45-degree angle and then turning the head away from the direction where the vertigo originated. After holding this position for 30 seconds, the patient turns the rest of body to align with the head.

WebMD describes several other home remedies to treat vertigo. The Semont maneuver involves sitting upright on the edge of the bed and then quickly lying down on one's side. After waiting 30 seconds, the patient rapidly changes to lying on the opposite side of the bed but still on the same side. The patient then waits another 30 seconds before sitting back up.

The half-somersault maneuver, also called the Foster maneuver, involves positioning the body as though starting a somersault, as explained by WebMD. While crouching near the ground, the patient tucks the head toward the knees and holds the position until the dizziness subsides. The patient turns the head toward the ear where the dizziness is coming from, holding the pose for 30 seconds and then quickly raising the head.

WebMD explains that performing these procedures several times throughout the day helps combat feelings of vertigo. After a full delay elapses without experiencing vertigo, these exercises are no longer necessary.

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