What Triggers Vertigo Attacks?

If you suffer from vertigo attacks, then you’ll probably want to do everything you can to avoid these unpleasant sensations. Vertigo can leave you feeling sick, dizzy and un-balanced. It can get in the way of a lot of everyday activities too as you’ll often need to go and lie down until the attack passes. What are the triggers that you should be avoiding in order to prevent vertigo attacks?

Causes of Vertigo

Vertigo can happen for a lot of different reasons. Some of the most common causes are inner ear conditions such as infections and Meniere’s disease. Conditions affecting other parts of the body, such as heart arrhythmias can also cause vertigo and dizziness. In some cases, there is no physical condition causing vertigo. It can simply be the result of a panic attack or severe stress.

Although the possible causes and their treatments can be very different, what most of these problems have in common is that they can often be triggered by the same things. You should be aware of the following triggers and do what you can to avoid them if you find that they make you feel ill.

  • Bending down, for example to pick things up. Bending your knees can prevent this by allowing you to keep your head in an upright position.
  • Stretching your neck, for example to reach high shelves. Using a step or avoiding this activity can prevent vertigo attacks by allowing you to keep your head and neck steady.
  • Changing position quickly, especially when standing up or getting out of bed. Moving slowly and steadily can prevent vertigo.
  • Turning, tilting or moving your head quickly. Keeping your movements slow and steady should help you to avoid triggering your symptoms.
  • Stress, anxiety and depression can all trigger vertigo attacks. Do what you can to avoid these pressures or to manage them when they can’t be prevented. Talking to a friend, taking time to relax, or using meditation techniques could help.
  • Confusing visual signals can trigger vertigo attacks, for example when you are sitting still on a train, but you can see movement through the window or if you try to move around in the dark without any visual cues to help you balance. You can prevent these problems by looking into the slower-moving distance when travelling, getting up and walking around if possible, or making sure you turn on the light at night.

You might find that there are other things that can trigger your symptoms. It’s a good idea to keep a record of when and where your vertigo attacks happened as you may be able to spot patterns. If you notice anything that seems to be triggering your symptoms, then you should try to avoid it to see if it helps.

As well as being aware of potential triggers for your vertigo attacks, it is also important to see a doctor if you often experience this symptom. If there is an underlying cause such as an inner ear disorder, then an ENT specialist may be able to provide treatment to prevent future attacks or advise you on the best way to tackle the symptoms when they appear.

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