Dizziness and vertigo occur for many different reasons. However, the condition is not generally considered serious unless the sensation does not go away or is accompanied by fainting or an irregular heart rate. Middle ear infections often cause dizziness and pain. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV refers to a condition where minute calcium crystals become loose in the inner ear. Under these circumstances, the sensation may begin when changing physical position or tilting the head upward. BPPV is more common in people over the age of 60. There are simple maneuvers that can alleviate symptoms. However, it is wise to consult with a physical before attempting self-treatment.
The Epley Maneuver
This option is beneficial when the problem originates from the left ear. Start by sitting on the edge of a bed. Rotate your head 45 degrees toward the left. Position a pillow so when lying down, the pillow is situated between the shoulders below the head. Lie down quickly with your head still turned toward the left. Lie still for approximately 30 seconds until the dizziness subsides. Turn your head to the opposite direction and wait another 30 seconds. Keep your head to the right and turn your entire body in the same direction without lifting your head. Remain in this position for another 30 seconds. Slowly, rise to a sitting position and stay seated for approximately three minutes. If the problems originates from the right side, reverse the instructions. Repeat this exercise three times every night until you are symptom free for 24 hours.
The Semont Maneuver
This exercise is popular in Europe and similar to the Epley Maneuver. Sit on the edge of the bed and turn your head to the affected side. Swiftly lie down on that side and remain in this position for 30 seconds. Quickly change positions to the opposite end of the bed. Keep your head facing in the same direction. Remain in place for another 30 seconds. Slowly return to a sitting position and relax for a few minutes. Repeat the process three times nightly until you feel symptomatic relief.
The Foster Maneuver
Some find this technique easier to follow. Kneel on the floor and look upwards toward the ceiling for approximately three seconds. Lower your head to the floor by tucking your chin into your chest and let your head drop downward toward your knees. Remain in this position until the dizziness stops. Now turn your head toward the direction of the affected ear. Stay in this position for 30 seconds. With your head turned, swiftly raise your head so that the side of your head is level with your spine while on your hands and knees. Lift your head to an upright position while still rotated to the affected side. Stand up slowly. Rest for about 15 minutes and repeat the process if needed.