Dizziness and vertigo can be difficult to manage, making it hard to do everyday activities such as cleaning, cooking or simply leaving the house alone.
People often use the words ‘dizziness’ and ‘vertigo’ interchangeably, but these are actually two different conditions.
Dizziness is usually described as light-headedness, unsteadiness or feeling faint, whereas vertigo is likened to the world spinning around you. The causes of dizziness and vertigo also vary.
Dizziness can be caused by many different things, such as:
- Blood pressure change
- Low blood sugar
Vertigo is usually caused by inner ear problems such as:
- Meniere’s disease
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Vestibular neuritis
Check in with your GP
It is important when first experiencing dizziness or vertigo to write down your symptoms, such as when it occurs and how long it lasts, and to check in with your GP so they can determine the next steps.
Depending on the cause of your dizziness, one avenue your GP may suggest is to see a physiotherapist. A physio can help with:
- Reducing dizziness symptoms by giving you exercises that gently stimulate your dizziness, which can help to desensitise your system
- Providing exercises designed to challenge and improve your balance to make you more confident when walking
- Advising and teaching you coordination tasks that involve your head and eyes to help improve your focus
- Using specific positioning techniques to aid in treating vestibular disorders such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
- Helping you gradually and safely re-introduce activities that you enjoy as you manage your dizziness and become more confident.
While dizziness and vertigo can be debilitating, there are many different ways these symptoms can be improved or resolved entirely, so it is important not to give up, and to give these treatments time to work.
If you have not already sought medical advice, visit your GP if you experience dizziness. After speaking with your GP, you might find that physiotherapy to be an option for managing your dizziness. So get in touch if you need us!
Article written by Emily Maher (Physiotherapist – Melbourne North)