How to Cure Vertigo

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Children get a thrill out of spinning themselves ‘round and ‘round until they lose equilibrium and fall down. It’s not so much fun, however, if you feel like the room is spinning without having done anything to deliberately cause it. This spinning sensation is called vertigo. It is usually described as “feeling dizzy.” Nausea, sweating, headache, or hearing loss can accompany it.

What Causes Vertigo?

Vertigo is quite common. It typically occurs when you suddenly shift your head position. Standing up too quickly can cause vertigo. Swaying or turning your head quickly to see something can produce a sensation of vertigo.

For some (generally those over 60 years old) benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is common. BPPV is an inner ear problem that occurs when tiny calcium crystals are free to move around in the inner ear canal. When the crystals move across sensitive ear hairs, you tend to feel imbalanced and dizzy.

Another inner ear problem that can trigger vertigo is the buildup of ear fluid (Meniere's disease). Fluid buildup changes the pressure in the ear resulting in ringing in the ears, vertigo, and sometimes hearing loss. Viral infections tend to cause inflammation in the inner ear around nerves. This also creates a feeling of imbalance and vertigo.

Vertigo is also associated with head/neck injury, stroke, migraines, or medications that adversely affect one’s ears.


Vertigo is treated according to its cause. Often vertigo ceases on its own. The brain has its own unique way of adjusting to any inner ear changes. For those who suffer from recurring attacks of vertigo, treatments range from physical therapy to medication or surgery.

For example, vestibular rehabilitation is designed to “train the brain” on how to respond to signals from the vestibular system regarding head and body movements in relation to gravity. Vestibular physical therapy teaches other senses to counterbalance vertigo.

Those suffering from BPPV may be treated by a physician or physical therapist in a series of head and body movements/rotations. This method is called Canalith Repositioning, or Epley Maneuvers. It is recommended by the American Academy of Neurology. The treatment involves head movements intended to relocate dislodged calcium crystal deposits from the inner ear canal to the inner ear chamber so they may be absorbed by the body. The head is slowly turned from side-to-side (at a 45-degree angle), pausing between turns to allow vertigo symptoms to subside. This should be repeated 3 times a day (at night) until you can go 24 hours without experiencing any vertigo symptoms.

Medications are prescribed to relieve symptoms associated with vertigo such as nausea, vomiting, or headache. They do not necessarily cure vertigo itself, nor are they intended for long-term use. Antibiotics or steroids may be recommended for viral infections or to reduce inflammation around inner ear nerves. Diuretics/water pills may be prescribed to decrease pressure in the inner ear due to fluid buildup.

Surgery may be necessary in extreme cases where vertigo is a symptom of a much bigger problem, such as a brain/neck injury or tumor.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "How to Cure Vertigo," in, February 18, 2016, (accessed August 9, 2022).