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Please describe your experience with vertigo.

The symptoms of vertigo include a sense of spinning, loss of balance, whirling, or loss of balance. by iStock   Facts to Know About VertigoThe definition of vertigo is the feeling of a sense that your environment is spinning. It is a form of dizziness.Seek medical attention for any signs or symptoms associated with vertigo.Treatments for vertigo include self-care home remedies, medications, and physical therapy maneuvers.Vertigo is caused by problems in the brain or inner ear, including sudden head movements, inflammation within the inner ear due to a viral or bacterial inner ear infection, Meniere's disease, tumors, decreased blood flow to the base of the brain, multiple sclerosis, head trauma and neck injury, migraine headaches, or complications from diabetes. Symptoms of vertigo include a sensation of disorientation or motion, which may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting, sweating, or abnormal eye movements. Other symptoms of vertigo may include hearing loss and a ringing sensation in the ears, visual disturbances, weakness, difficulty speaking, a decreased level of consciousness, and difficulty walking. Vertigo is diagnosed by a medical history and physical exam. CT scans, blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electrocardiogram (ECG) may also be performed depending on the suspected cause. The prognosis for vertigo depends on the cause. Some cases of vertigo are self-limiting and can be cured with drugs and self-care plus physical therapy.Vertigo MeaningVertigo is the feeling that you or your environment is moving or spinning. It differs from dizziness in that vertigo describes an illusion of movement. When you feel as if you yourself are moving, it's called subjective vertigo, and the perception that your surroundings are moving is called objective vertigo.Unlike nonspecific lightheadedness or dizziness, vertigo has relatively few causes.
163 Responses
Avatar universal
I am 52 and I was diagnosed with vertigo. I have had two really bad days: One time I had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. The second time, just a month ago, I felt it coming on and laid down in a dark room and fell asleep. I was prescribed meclizine, which I'm taking, but it doesn't seem to help at all. I don't know what else to do.
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I have no definite diagnosis at this time.  For over 5 years I have battled vertigo, dizziness, migraines, and actually falling down.  First diagnosis was MS.  Then that changed to a stroke.  Now, an inner ear disorder.  My hearing is intact so the ENT doctor could not help me.  My neuorologist now believes it is something with the labyrinth.  I have tried numerous medications.  Now surgery may be in the future with the risk losing my hearing attached to it.  Is there anyone with the same frustration over being unable to accurately diagnose the problems?
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My husband acquired an outer ear infection two years ago. At the hospital, he was treated for a bacterial infection.  Three days later, he suffered facial paralysis and severe pain in his ear and right side of his head.  After being admitted to the hospital, it was discovered he had shingles and the virus had spread to his brain.  He underwent six months of therapy for his accompanying dizziness and vestibular problems.  Now two years later, he is still dizzy and has numerous balance problems.  He cannot drive or perform normal activities.  He only gets relief when he lies down; so much of his life is spent in bed.  If he had been given Valtrex the first day he went to the hospital, he may not be as bad as he is.  The doctor says that the nerve from the inner ear to the brain is damaged, as well as two facial nerves.  He looks like he had a stroke.  He must walk with a cane to support himself so he does not fall down.  He is taking gabapentin for the pain and meclizine for the dizziness along with an antidepressant.  He is soon to start another round of therapy for the dizziness.
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My doctor spent two months last year trying to rid me of vertigo problems which came about from sinus problems.  I was not getting better and the vertigo medicine wasn't helping.  I fell several times from the unsteadiness and dizziness.  It was not the first time over the years that I came down with vertigo from sinus problems.  I went to an ENT and he knew immediately what the problem was.  He said it was BPPV.  Somehow the little calcium "crystals" in your ears don't dissolve like they should.  I went through four Epley treatments at a physical therapy place and I was well enough to fly to family for the holidays.  I previously experienced barotrauma (awful pressure pain) every time I flew, but thanks to his advice (a squirt of Afrin in each nostril one half hour before liftoff, ear plugs specifically for flying, and chewing gum) I managed, for the first time, to have a painless flight.  I now do the physical ear exercises at home lying in bed which helps those calcium crystals move into the proper area where they can be dissolved.
Avatar universal
It started out with severe nausea that lasted most of the night. I was feeling better but the next day, I still felt weak. The third night, I was still nauseated and staggering, and I even needed help to get to the bathroom. I finally called my doctor and he advised me to go to the emergency room. They gave me medicine for the nausea and for dizziness and they did a CT scan to rule out the possibility of a stroke. I was finally diagnosed with vertigo. This sickness is similar to motion sickness or sea sickness, but I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. They also gave me two prescriptions that I need to get filled.
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I suffer from regular vertigo and nausea which makes it nearly impossible to work for a week or more every month. I'm fine if I'm lying completely flat and not moving at all, but as soon as I try to get out of bed I start throwing up. At first the episodes were few, but it's gotten progressively worse over the past several years. I've seen so many doctors, had so many diagnoses and have taken so many medications I struggle to keep up with it all. It's debilitating and frustrating. I'm reaching the end of my ability to cope with this.
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I was diagnosed with vertigo about 17 years ago. I was on the fire department got an alarm about 4:30 am and couldn't get down a set of steps at the fire station. My captain thought I was having a heart attack. I was sent to the hospital by ambulance. I also suffer from depression, panic attacks, high blood pressure, type II diabetes and skin cancer. I am 71 yrs old. This past week, the vertigo has come back and I have a hard time going to bed because of the feeling of the room spinning around. I plan on going to my family doctor to see if he can find out what is causing this. I just want to be able to spend my golden years enjoying my wife and myself.
Avatar universal
Last night at 1am, there was a lightning storm and a lightning strike apparently hit really close to our house and woke me up. IT was so loud and startling that I jumped out of bed and my heart was racing - truly the loudest, most reverberating strike I've witnessed. It must have hit a transformer, because all the lights across the street went out. I went back to sleep but this morning I woke up very dizzy and have had vertigo most of the day.
Avatar universal
I'm  46 years old, and have had vertigo for 6 years. It's still not clear what brought it on for me. I take an over-the-counter product called "bodine" (my insurance no longer covers me for a prescription medication). Besides the dizziness, and imbalance issues, I only find relief when I lay down in a darkened room.
Avatar universal
I also have vertigo and was given meclizine and it didn't work I went back to the doctor and was given Lorazepam 0.5mg and it works wonders.  I take a dramamine every day when I get up and take the Lorazepam when I feel the symptoms coming on, then I lay down and sleep for a few hours.  I haven't had a "bad" case of vertigo since the first one in May 09.  I had to be carried out on a stretcher and taken by ambulance the first time because I couldn't sit up because of the nausea.  Hope this helps LynnMarie and anybody else with this awful problem
Avatar universal
I am a 35 year old mother. I have 2 sons: Joey is 10 and Chase is 10 months old. My husband was laid off his job as a brick layer. I just had a baby and we could not afford our apartment so we moved in with my husband's father, and his girlfriend of 15 years. A month after we moved in, my husband's sister got kicked out if her house for stealing $800.00 in change to support her Percocet problem. She also has 2 kids; one is 4 and the other one is 8 months old. It's like I live in a zoo now. The other night when the kids were in bed, she was high off her Percocet and decided to use my head as punching bag. She broke my nose, she bruised my ear and I have about 5 lumps in my head the size of baseballs, thank God my husband heard me yelling and came to the rescue and pulled her off of me. When I went to the hospital they only gave me an x-ray of my nose, told me in was broken... Ever since I woke up this morning with a bad headache, double vision, blurred vision, abnormal eye movements, feeling very weak, I was off balance and dizzy. It was hard to carry my 10 months old. Now I am having shaking in my left arm, it comes and goes. I decided to look up my symptoms on the computer and it brought me to the Vertigo page. I am thinking I should go back to the ER I went to and ask them for a CT scan. I tried to call my family doctor and they told me the soonest I could get seen by a doctor would be Thursday afternoon. I can't wait that long. I'm scared....
Avatar universal
Hi Lynn Marie, I was diagnosed with vertigo a few months ago, I was off work for a month and a half altogether. I was constantly dizzy and very very weak, barely able to walk straight. After constant trips to the doctor he finally prescribed me a tablet called "SERC". I have responded brilliantly to it, and although it is not completely gone, I am now back at work and getting on with my life.
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I am 62 and about nine or 10 years ago, I was involved in a nasty car accident. The accident caused me to have severe neck and back problems and severe headaches since then. I was an antique truck buff and usually would lie under them to do repairs and maintenance.     One day, I could not get over this terrible headache, profuse sweating, and nauseous feeling. I went to the doctor and explained what I had been feeling, and that everything seemed to be out of balance. I found myself thinking that I was walking crooked down the hall at home.  He said that I had vertigo, checked my ears for fluid and said that it would go away, and if it did not to come back to him.      He prescribed some pill, and I did not use it because I already take enough of them. The vertigo comes and goes. I was lying on the couch and tried to get up. I could not get my balance and then I found myself on the floor because I had fainted. I get the vertigo attacks if I lie on my back or if my head is lower than the rest of my body.  I immediately begin to sweat and the headaches pound in my head.  I have a very difficult time when I go to the dentist. He has to elevate me to a position that feels comfortable to me. I had an attack recently that lasted only about an hour, but they have lasted as long as two days. I feel terrible because I can't drive and can't function. Lying down in bed is the worst thing I can do.
Avatar universal
I have had vertigo, and I have beaten it! The first time, I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room and given a bunch of tests. It was then that I was told I had Vertigo. I was given Meclizine, which I would use whenever the symptoms of nausea and dizziness came along. I would go into a dark, air-conditioned room and it would get better after a few days.    I would almost always get the symptoms as soon as my head hit the pillow or when I turned over in bed, or whenever I looked high up in the sky at something. I was determined to beat it and found that by placing both hands over my ears and pressing inwards, creating suction a couple of times whenever I felt it coming on, that would help eliminate the symptoms of vertigo.      I believe that the suction created by the hands does something to those out-of-place crystals in the inner ear canal. I no longer have vertigo!
Avatar universal
I am 24 years old, and I just suffered my first episode of vertigo yesterday. It was so scary. I had felt fine all day, and I was cooking dinner for my family when I bent down to get something out of the oven and it hit me so that I couldn't even walk straight. I almost felt like I was very drunk but in a bad way. I couldn't talk straight, and I felt as if everything was in slow motion but spinning at the same time. The walls didn't look like they were spinning, but I did. I went to the emergency room, and they gave me a shot and it made me really sleepy. So this morning, I feel really tired and drugged. I don't know what caused this.
Avatar universal
I am 52 and had the horrible experience of a two-week vertigo attack in August of 2008.  I am currently on my fourth day of another attack this year. An ENT gave me a homeopathic medication called vertigoheel.  It is available on the Internet and helped me last year.  I am on my way to see my physician to try to speed up the healing process.
Avatar universal
I was first diagnosed with benign positional vertigo this past July after suddenly being  unable to get out of bed without falling, not being able to look up without the feeling of spinning, and unable to look at anything moving without losing my balance.  I had a stroke due to a car accident at age 33. Since then I have had weakness in my right side and fall a lot. In July, the doctors did an EKG, CAT scan, and an MRI because of my history. All were normal. The medicine they prescribed never really helped.  I did finally go to a chiropractor who treats this and found almost instant relief.  However, now I have been running a fever for four days with no other symptoms and the vertigo is back. It's much milder than before, but it's still scary. When I feel better, I will go to the chiropractor again.
Avatar universal
I have had vertigo for more than 12 hours and the doctor put me on Valium (5 mg) to help me relax. It has helped a lot, but the room still spins.
Avatar universal
I have suffered from vertigo off and on for more than 29 years. I was diagnosed with a middle ear infection and the doctor treated it with Meclizine. It helps somewhat with the dizziness, but it knocks you out. All you do is sleep, and it doesn't cure the problem, it only treats the symptoms -- taking the dizziness away. I finally went to the best ENT in Milwaukee and he said treating it with an allergy medication is what works. I also have a lot of allergies -- seasonal, environmental, animals -- so I do need to take something for that. By taking one tablet every day (I now use Singulair, but I have used Claritin and Zyrtec in the past), I am vertigo-free. Almost as a test, this past spring I happened to be out of my prescription for several weeks and didn't take anything. Sure enough, the vertigo came back. As soon as I was back on Singulair for about six days straight, the vertigo was gone again. I will never be without the allergy medication again.     As I understand it, the allergy medication dries up the fluid in your ears that causes the vertigo. I have no medical background, but this method really has worked for me.
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My problem started 3 days ago, and I have had 3 episodes since. I was standing there talking to a friend and I had this feeling like someone had pushed me, it was the strangest feeling I had ever had. This has happened 3 times in 3 days, the only thing leading up to this was I had been very tired. I went to the doctor today and he prescribed me a tablet called "Stemetil".
Avatar universal
I had some days when I had vertigo in bed, but it subsided when I got up. Then this weekend I had it, it went away when I got up, but then hit me hard when I looked up at the ceiling.  I was nauseated and had trouble walking or moving. I took Bonine, which is over-the-counter meclizine, that I always have for motion sickness, then Benadryl to shrink any swollen membranes.  I had it for about 5 hours.  Then I was fine the next day and the third day it was back again all day. The fourth day I have had it in the morning and couldn't drive, but it subsides by mid-afternoon.  I may have some swelling in one ear so I'm going to the ENT. I also have ringing in my ears which he says is Tinnitus. I'm not sure if tinnitus and vertigo go hand in hand or not. Bonine does help very well for motion sickness!
Avatar universal
Vertigo has pretty much taken over my life! I can't sleep laying down straight, I have lay propped up on my couch, and it gets worse when I am at work. It gets to the point where my head is spinning and I have to sit down or hold myself up against a wall. My doctor prescribed me Antivert but it really hasn't done much for me. Hopefully  he can help me and try something different because this vertigo has started to take over my life.
Avatar universal
One day I turned around to look behind me and BOOM! I was so dizzy and I just felt so sick to my stomach. I was in such a sweat, my heart was just pounding and I thought I was having a heart attack. I made my way to a chair and asked my boss for help (I was at work). He then had me call my daughter who took me to the ER. I was admitted to the hospital and kept there for two say and I still have not gone back to work because of the symptoms. I work in a deli and I miss dealing with people and this just really depresses me.
Avatar universal
I've just had a second episode of vertigo, almost identical to the first after nine months.  Both started out the same, but the first came on much faster.  I lost hearing in my left ear, and then I begin to start feeling dizzy, then nauseous, and began to vomit.  Both of these happened in the AM and at work.  I had been given Meclizine but had taken it out of my purse, so I didn't have it with me at work the second time.  Both times I was taken via ambulance to the ER and each time I was given medicine to stop the vomiting and dizziness in the ER and after a few hours released.  After the first episode, I visited and ENT, who said he found nothing wrong with my ear and didn't think it was Vertigo.  I think now I need to see and neurologist.  I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this kind of Vertigo attack?  I am a female, 46 yrs old.
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