USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Off balance

Learning about vertigo’s causes, treatments

Vertigo sufferers experience dizzying sensations, as if the room is spinning.

Vertigo is not just the title of a classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller. It’s also a series of debilitating symptoms that can make it difficult for individuals to perform everyday tasks.

In the Hitchcock movie, a detective is unable to effectively do his job because vertigo leaves him feeling off balance and dizzy.

In real life, vertigo sufferers feel similar dizzying sensations, as if the room is spinning.

The ailment involves the brain and the balance centers of the inner ear, called the vestibular system. Meniere’s disease, an infection in the inner ear, is a common cause of vertigo.

Vertigo is often triggered by a sudden change in the position of your head, which can leave sufferers experiencing nausea, vomiting, headache, sweating, ringing in the ears or hearing loss, which may last a few minutes or longer, reoccurring sporadically.

A medical exam is necessary to diagnose vertigo, which affects both men and women but is generally more common among women.

While there is no cure, vertigo can improve in time. Medication or vestibular rehabilitation training exercises, as well as changes in behavior can also help relieve some symptoms.

The National Library of Medicine and National Center for Biotechnology Information websites have additional details, while the Wellness LiteBlue page has more information to help employees maintain their physical, emotional and financial health.