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Vertigo

Intro

Any signs and symptoms of vertigo warrant an evaluation by a doctor. The majority of cases of vertigo are harmless. Although vertigo can be debilitating, most causes are easily treated with prescription medication. Have a doctor check any new signs and symptoms of vertigo to rule out potentially serious or life-threatening causes.

Certain signs and symptoms of vertigo may require evaluation in a hospital's emergency department:

  • Double vision
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Altered level of consciousness, not acting appropriately, or difficulty arousing
  • Difficulty walking or controlling the arms and legs
Self-Care at Home

Home therapy should only be undertaken if you have already been diagnosed with vertigo and are under the supervision of a doctor.

Follow-up

Anyone with a new diagnosis of vertigo should follow-up with his or her doctor or be referred directly to a neurologist or ENT specialist.

Prevention

People whose balance is affected by vertigo should take precautions to prevent injuries from falls.

Those with risk factors for stroke should control their high blood pressure and high cholesterol and stop smoking.

Patient's with Meniere's disease should limit salt in their diet.

Outlook

The prognosis depends on the source of the vertigo.

  • Vertigo caused by problems in the inner ear, while usually self-limited, in some cases can become completely incapacitating. The use of drugs and rehabilitation exercise is mainstay of treatment. Most commonly this will make the symptoms completely go away or make the condition tolerable.
  • The prognosis of vertigo from a brain lesion depends on the amount of damage done to the central nervous system. Vertigo caused by a brain lesion may need emergency evaluation by a neurologist and neurosurgeon

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