K06 — February 2010 — Vertigo
Intro: Vertigo. It's the sensation of spinning, falling, tumbling and turning. Victims can feel nauseated, off balance, like they're losing control. Bouts of vertigo can be very scary, but doctors at Mayo Clinic say, for people with a particular type of vertigo, treatment is easy and very effective.
"WE'LL GO DOWN HERE LIKE THAT.…"
THERE'S NOTHING HIGH TECH ABOUT TREATING WHAT'S CALLED BENIGN PAROXSYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO. BUT THIS SERIES OF HEAD POSITIONS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE FOR VERTIGO SUFFERER MARK WOJAHN.
"I NOTICED IT FIRST HERE AT THE GYM. DOING LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS. WHENEVER I WOULD TILT MY HEAD THE SLIGHTEST IT WOULD FEEL LIKE THE WORLD WAS SPINNING AROUND ME. LIGHT HEADED, NAUSEOUS, DIZZY."
"IT'S A MECHANICAL DISORDER THAT DEVELOPS BECAUSE SOME OF THE NORMAL LITTLE CALCIUM PARTICLES THAT OUR INNER EAR CREATES IN ORDER TO HELP US SENSE GRAVITY AND MOVEMENT FLOAT INTO THE WRONG PART OF THE SYSTEM."
DR. SCOTT EGGERS SAYS, IN ADDITION TO FEELING LIKE THE WORLD IS SPINNING, PEOPLE WITH VERTIGO ALSO EXPERIENCE RAPID EYE JERKING WHICH HAPPENS WHEN YOUR INNER EAR BALANCE SYSTEM IS STIMULATED IN THE WRONG WAY.
"I'M WATCHING THE PATIENT'S EYES AND LOOKING FOR ANY SIGNS OF NYSTYGMUS."
THIS SERIES OF HEAD POSITIONS CAN STOP SYMPTOMS BECAUSE IT HELPS THE DISLODGED CRYSTALS FLOAT BACK TO WHERE THEY BELONG. HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING INSIDE THE EAR. YOU CAN SEE HOW THE CRYSTALS HAVE MIGRATED TO ONE OF THREE SEMI CIRCLES IN THE INNER EAR. BY MOVING THE HEAD IN A SPECIFIC PATTERN, THOSE CRYSTALS FLOAT BACK TO THEIR ORIGINAL AND CORRECT LOCATION.
"AFTER DR. EGGERS PUT ME THROUGH THAT MANEUVER, I MEAN, 20 MINUTES AFTER, I WAS FEELING 100-PERCENT."
BACK TO LIFTING WEIGHTS WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT DEBILITATING DIZZINESS. FOR MEDICAL EDGE, I'M VIVIEN WILLIAMS.
Dr. Eggers says people like Mark who get this type of vertigo may have another bout sometime in the future. If so, the same series of head positions can help relieve symptoms again.
Now, there are other condition that can cause vertigo, so it's very important to see your health care provider if you develop symptoms.
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