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Home Remedies for Vertigo

The spinning sensation and dizziness you get from vertigo can limit your activities and make you feel sick. Depending on the cause, though, some simple maneuvers you can do at home might bring relief.

The most common type of this condition is BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). It happens when small crystals of calcium get loose in your inner ear. You may feel it when you’re getting in or out of bed, or tilting your head up. People over age 60 are more likely to get BPPV. It’s also the easiest type of vertigo to treat.

Before you try to treat it yourself, see your doctor. If you have vertigo, you’ll need to know what type it is and which ear has the problem.

If you have BPPV, certain actions can move the calcium crystals that cause the problem out of your ear canal. That should bring relief.

Epley maneuver

The Epley maneuver or repositioning maneuver is a maneuver used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) of the posterior or anterior canals. It works by allowing free floating particles from the affected semicircular canal to be relocated, using gravity, back into the utricle, where they can no longer stimulate the cupula, therefore relieving the patient of bothersome vertigo.

Step 1 

You will sit on the doctor’s exam table with your legs extended in front of you. The doctor will turn your head so that it is halfway between looking straight ahead and looking directly to the side that causes the worst vertigo. Without changing your head position, the doctor will guide you back quickly so that your shoulders are on the table but your head is hanging over the edge of the table. In this position, the side of your head that is causing the worst vertigo is facing the floor. The doctor will hold you in this position for 30 seconds or until your vertigo stops. 

Epley maneuver: Step 2 

Then, without lifting up your head, the doctor will turn your head to look at the same angle to the opposite side, so that the other side of your head is now facing the floor. The doctor will hold you in this position for 30 seconds or until your vertigo stops.

Epley maneuver: Step 3 

The doctor will help you roll in the same direction you are facing so that you are now lying on your side. (For example, if you are looking to your right, you will roll onto your right side.) The side that causes the worst vertigo should be facing up. The doctor will hold you in this position for another 30 seconds or until your vertigo stops. 

Epley maneuver: Step 4 

The doctor will then help you to sit back up with your legs hanging off the table on the same side that you were facing.

This maneuver is done with the assistance of a doctor or physical therapist. A single 10- to 15-minute session usually is all that is needed. When your head is firmly moved into different positions, the crystal debris (canaliths) causing vertigo will move freely and no longer cause symptoms.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD – Internal Medicine

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