There is a tendency to use the terms such as "dizziness" and "vertigo" in describing the same phenomenon - these two conditions are however, mutually exclusive and refer to different conditions. A sensation of unsteadiness or faintness is what dizziness is all about; the more serious disorientation of vertigo usually involves a sensation where the outside world seems to be spinning for the individual. Vertigo is felt when a person felt as he or she were falling when standing on a elevated place such as a high tower-vertigo is experienced by the majority of individuals. Dizziness on the other hand has internal causative factors which may not all be accounted for - this condition can unfortunately become a permanent condition in some people - it can persist and become disabling in the long term. A variety of causes can be attributed to vertigo.
By far, the most common reason for dizziness in the large majority of individuals is the feeling associated with ordinary motion sickness - which produces a queasy sensation, this along with the feeling of light-headedness which comes while traveling is normally felt by a large majority of people. Conflicting signals arising in the brain is the cause of this problem. It comes about when the eyes, which are trying to focus on constantly moving scenery, start affecting the balance center in the inner ear, this is the biological mechanisms which help in orienting the body to movements and motion - the result is that conflicting signals are received by the brain and dizziness results. It is then, usual to get a confusing, whirling and queasy sensation - dizziness is for the large part accompanied by nausea in the majority of cases.
Dizziness or vertigo can often be induced by the presence of many types of medical conditions in the person - these include the decrease in blood flow towards the brain or to the inner ear, the development of ear infections, the presence of an injury to the head, the presence of heightened or low blood pressure, the presence of arrhythmias and other cardiac disorders, the presence of certain nerve disorders, and even the presence of certain forms of allergies. The use of certain classes of medications and prescription drugs, such as the diuretics, all kinds of tranquilizers, some antidepressants, and certain antibiotics, can also induce dizziness in many people.
Supplements and herbs
The common ginger has been traditionally used in treating dizziness through the centuries, herbal remedies made from the ginger can act relatively quickly in treating dizziness. Its remedial effects can be felt even within minutes following consumption - the herbal ginger preparations help to beat back the sudden dizziness and nausea which often accompanies motion sickness or mild vertigo in many individuals. The use of the herbal remedy has been shown in some tests, to be much more effective and longer lasting in its beneficial effects than many of the over the counter medications used in the treatment of dizziness and vertigo. Compared to the conventional medications, the herbal ginger remedies also produces no known side effects - conventional medications typically induce drowsiness or blurred vision as side effects.
To rule out the presence of any underlying serious causative factors, the presence of persistent vertigo or dizziness in an individual will require medical attention - only an examination of the causes will ascertain the likely reason for persistent long term dizziness or vertigo in an affected individual. While the use of certain other herbal supplements in addition to the herbal ginger preparations may help - the doctor must be consulted for relevant prescription medications to treat persistent dizziness in an affected individual. In an investigation done in France on chronic vertigo patients, the study demonstrated that use of the herb ginkgo biloba - which boosts blood flow to the brain - effectively helped almost half of the patients in the study - in this case, patients reported a lessening in the vertigo they felt over a long period of time. The beneficial effects of the ginkgo herb may however, take up to eight or twelve weeks in alleviating the condition. In certain cases, of chronic dizziness, the use of additional supplements, the form of the vitamin B6, may be useful - this vitamin is very essential to the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system.
Additional things you may do
- For vertigo
- Some activities can play with your sense of balance and you must stay away from amusement park rides or any virtual reality games-these can induce the same sense of vertigo that a real situation might induce. In your day to day activities you must try to avoid all sudden changes in the position of the body position-particularly if you are going from a prone position to a sudden upright position. Also avoid any extremes in the head motion-this especially includes suddenly looking up, sudden turns, or twisting movements. Try to move your head in ways that induce dizziness, this will get you used to the sensation so you are better prepared-these desensitization techniques must be carried out from time to time. These techniques can be repeated several times each day for a period of several weeks at a stretch. You can also benefit from reducing the amount of certain substances that you use-reduce nicotine, caffeine, and salt intake, all of these can lead to a reduction in the flow of blood to the brain.
- For motion sickness
- Once dizziness sets in, you must stop reading or staring at a computer screen immediately to minimize the effects-this is especially true if the sickness begins when you are inside a moving car, on a train, or on a boat. When the dizziness sets in, place yourself in a secure spot or sit down and face forward, try to focus on a fixed point-this might be the distant scenery or the horizon. This must be done so as to keep your body and your eyes simultaneously oriented to the movement of the vehicle or transport. If you have a tendency to suffer from motion sickness, try not to sit in the front seat whenever yourself riding a car. When at sea, try to stay amid ship as this will lessen the severity of the motion sickness. Try to get a seat in the aisles above the wing when you are flying- there is the least motion in this area and prefer to choose this seat at the check in counter.
- Ginkgo biloba, 80 mg thrice daily. Standardized to have at least 24% flavone glycosides.
- Ginger, 100 mg of standardized ginger extract every four hours when needed. You can try fresh ginger root (1/4 - to 1/2 - inch ginger slice), ginger tea (1/2 tsp. ginger root per cup of hot water or powdered ginger (1 gram) - all taken thrice daily, ginger ale (8-ounce glass thrice daily) can be equally effective if made with real ginger herb.
- Vitamin B6, 50 mg thrice daily. 200 mg of vitamin B6 a day over long term can cause damage of the nerves.
Other beneficial herbs
- From Dave M - Aug-11-2012
- I had a very bizarre dizzy spell that was not typical for me. The aftermath lasted for a few days afterwards. I am a firm believer in green tea. The EGCG passes the brain/blood barrier (so many articles have said) and I drank several cups of warm green tea (Dragonwell specifically) along with eating some large crystallized ginger slices. I could feel the changes in my head within minutes. Helped quite a bit!
- From Joan - Oct-04-2011
- I am not real fond of ginger, but I found some "candied" ginger slices in the Asian food section of my grocery store. I keep some in a baggy in my purse and eat a slice before riding in a car or when beginning to feel queasy/dizzy. It really helps me. I have tried ginger capsules but those usually just make my stomach burn. The ginger slices don't do that to me.
- From Jon - 2010
- Nutmeg works excellently against motion sickness simply by eating about one eight of a nut or teaspoon or mixing it with water. Ginger doesn't do much for me except contain stomach contractions so that I feel discomfort instead of actually vomiting.