“It's the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning. This feeling may be slight and barely noticeable, or it may be so severe that you find it difficult to keep your balance and do everyday tasks. Attacks of vertigo can develop suddenly and last for a few seconds or they may last much longer. If you have severe vertigo, your symptoms may be constant and last for several days, making normal life very difficult”.
The main symptoms of vertigo are loss of balance, which can make it difficult to stand or walk, it can also cause nausea and vomiting, and dizziness or lightheadedness
Conventional Treatment of Vertigo
NHS Choices says that the treatment for vertigo will depend on the cause, and severity of the symptoms. It recommends avoiding stress, and lying still in a quite, dark room, all good advice, but then adds that this is the best time to take the drugs. The following causes of vertigo are given, alongside the drugs used:
Labyrinthitis (an inner ear infection).
Although NHS Choices say this has a viral cause, and is treated with drugs like:
Benzodiazepines, which NHS Choices admits can be “highly addictive” if used for long periods, but in fact have been described as “a 40-year horror story” by people who have taken them.
Antiemetics, used for nausea and vomiting symptoms, such as Prochiorperazine, the side-effects mentioned by NHS Choices being tremors, abnormal or involuntary body and facial movements, and sleepiness. But they are also known to cause fever, hearing loss, extreme nausea, constipation, ringing ears, severe stomach pain, severe vomiting, heartburn and unusual weight gain
Corticosteroids, such as Prednisolone, are used when symptoms are severe, but these drugs are known to cause an increase in appetite, weight gain, insomnia, fluid retention, mood changes, such as feeling irritable or anxious. Indeed, click on the links above to find the serious adverse reactions to these drugs.
Vestibular Neuronitis (inflammation of the vestibular nerve in the ear).
NHS Choices says that this condition can be treated with medication - but does not mention what that medication is. They say that it is a condition that can “clear up without treatment”.
Benign Parxysmal Positional Vertigo (small fragments of debris in the ear canal).
This can also ‘clear up on its own’, and describes to ‘Epley Manoeuvre’, designed to move the fragments, and the Brandt-Daroff exercises.
Meniere’s Disease (described as a rare condition that affects the inner ear)
NHS Choices says that “there is not yet an absolute cure” for Meniere’s disease, but that it can be treated with dietary advice, or drugs like:
Prochiorperazine (see above), and
Antihistamines, such as cinnarizine and cyclizine, which it admitted can cause drowsiness (lack of co-ordination, slow reaction times, etc), insomnia, nightmares, hallucinations, and upset stomach, impaired thinking, dizziness (?), constipation, blurred vision, urinary retention, itchy skin, rapid heartbeat and chest tightness.
NHS Choices says that this is caused by problems within the brain, or brainstem, and can be caused by migraine headaches, or brain tumours, in which case patients are referred to a hospital specialist.
If the vertigo is caused by Migraine headaches, the same medication will be used, that is, painkillers, Triptan drugs, et al. Click here for a discussion of this treatment.
Vertigo with an unknown cause
NHS Choices says that if the cause of the vertigo remains unknown the patient will be admitted to hospital, where ‘Vestibular rehabilitation’ will be used for “brain retraining”.
The Homeopathic Treatment of Vertigo
Homeopathy can prevent the need to resort to these drugs, and has a variety of remedies known to treat vertigo, regardless of its cause, and a well-selected remedy will often cure the condition safely and effectively. These remedies seek to address the underlying causes of vertigo, and to rid of patient of the condition. The following remedy descriptions are have been taken from the Hpathy website.
Conium – this remedy suits especially the vertigo of the aged and that arising from excess and over use of tobacco. Also that from due to cerebral anaemia. There is sensation when the person looks steadily at an object as if turning in a circle. Vertigo on rising up or going down stairs, with great debility and inclination to sleep.
Iodine – well marked remedy for old people who suffer from chronic congestive vertigo.
Ferrum met – this remedy suits anaemic vertigo, which is worse when suddenly rising from a sitting or lying position. It comes when suddenly rising from a sitting or lying position. It comes on when down hill or on crossing water, even though the water be smooth.
Cocculus – vertigo which is connected with digestive troubles suits this remedy, and it develops into the neurasthenic type with occipital headache and lumbosacral irritation. There is a flushed face and hot head, worse sitting up and riding in a carriage; worse after eating.
Rhus Tox – this remedy suits vertigo, especially in old people, which comes on as soon as the patient rises from a sitting position. It is associated with heavy limbs and is probably caused by senile changes in the brain.
Aesculus – severe vertigo, with reeling, like drunken men; vertigo, with nausea and dimness of sight; confused stupor; thickness of speech; great weakness, with trembling.
Lachesis – stupefaction with loss of consciousness, with blue face and convulsive movements, or tremor of the extremities; or paralysis, especially of the left side; the paroxysms are preceded by frequent absence of mind, or vertigo with rush of blood to the head; blowing expiration; after the use of liquors or mental emotions.
Cyclamen – sudden vanishing of sight; profuse and dark menses; blindness accompanied by semi lateral headache of the temple, with pale face, vertigo; nausea referred to throat and weak digestion.
Hpathy also lists other remedies for vertigo, including: Aconite, Argentum Met, Apis Mel, Baptesia, Belladonna, Bryonia, Calcaria Carb, Calcaria Sulph, Cannabis Indica, Cheledonium, Digitalis, Dulcamara, Gelsemium, lycopodium, Natrum Mur, Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Petroleum, Silicea, Tabacum, Secale Cor, Sabina, Thuja, Kali Iod, Graphites, and Natrum Carb.
Randomised Controlled Tests (RCT’s)
Homeopathic vs conventional treatment of vertigo. A double blind randomised controlled clinical study
A Double Blind Randomised Controlled trial that showed statistical significant results with homeopathy as well as betahistine.
The homeopathic preparation Vertigoheel versus Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of vertigo in an elderly population: a double-blinded, randomized, controlled clinical trial. Issing, Klein, Weiser.
In this study, a homeopathic combination remedy was found to be equally effective as Ginkgo Biloba
Microcirculatory effects of a homeopathic preparation in patients with mild vertigo: an intravital microscopic study. Klopp, Neimer, Weiser
The effects of the homeopathic preparation Vertigoheel on variables related to microcirculation were investigated.....and that...the data support a pharmacological effect on microcirculation from the treatment.
In this study, 88% patient improved compared to 87 % in the conventional treatment group. “The study confirms that Vertigoheel is a safe and effective treatment option for vertigo of varying etiology and is therapeutically equivalent to medications containing dimenhydrinate”.
“.... Vertigoheel not only improves the signalling pathways of smooth muscle cells but also is an effective medication for the therapy of vertigo of varying genesis. Various clinical investigations and cohort studies have shown an equivalent effect to dimenhydrinate, betahistine and ginkgo biloba. In each case the frequency, duration and intensity of the vertigo attacks were determined, as well as the tolerability of the medication. A meta-analysis of four studies also underlined the efficacy of Vertigoheel in cases of vertigo of varying genesis.