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Vertigo is a type of dizziness that causes you to feel as though the “room is spinning”. The most common sensation associated with vertigo is a dizziness, or the feeling of being off-balance. Vertigo is not an illness. Instead, it is a common symptom resulting from a condition.
Vertigo itself is a symptom or sensation caused by some other condition. Common signs or feelings associated with vertigo include:
- Dizziness (the feeling that the environment around you is spinning, even when you're motionless)
- Loss of balance
- Ringing in the ears
These symptoms may last for a few seconds up to a few hours.
Vertigo is a symptom associated with multiple health conditions. These symptoms may occur without you having a previously diagnosed condition. There are several common causes, however, of vertigo symptoms. These include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): Your inner ear contains microscopic crystals that help orient you and monitor the movement of your head. When these crystals become displaced, any sudden movement - such as standing up quickly - can make you feel dizzy. BPPV is the medical term for this occurrence.
- Vestibular neuritis: An inflammation of the vestibular nerve, vestibular neuritis can cause prolonged episodes of vertigo and dizziness, as well as hearing loss.
- Labyrinthitis: An infection of the inner ear, labyrinthitis is commonly triggered by a common cold or the flu. Labyrinthitis can cause vertigo, dizziness, and hearing loss.
- Meniere’s disease: Meniere’s disease can affect people of any age but is most commonly found in adults between the ages of 40-65. Changes in the inner ear result in episodes of vertigo, dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
Other common causes of vertigo include:
- Ear infections
- Head injury
- Multiple sclerosis
Vertigo is a very common sensation that nearly everyone experiences from time to time. If you experience persistent vertigo or dizziness, talk to your doctor. Vertigo in and of itself is not a cause for concern, but if the symptom does not go away after a few seconds, or if it recurs frequently, it may signify a serious health condition.
Treatment for vertigo depends on the condition causing the symptom. Most instances of vertigo will go away on their own without medical help. In some cases, medical attention may be required. Below are common treatments for vertigo. During your appointment, talk to your provider about the treatment plan that’s best for you.
Your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine to prevent vertigo symptoms. They work by blocking the effect of a natural substance in the body known as histamine, which can help reduce nausea and dizziness.
Meclizine is the most commonly prescribed antihistamine for vertigo symptoms.
Meniere's disease is caused by a build-up of fluid in the inner ear. The symptoms of Meniere’s disease are often treated with a low-sodium diet and a prescription for diuretics - also known as “water pills”. These drugs help reduce overall fluid levels in the body.
Common diuretics prescribed for Meniere's disease include:
BPPV is treated with a procedure called Canalith repositioning. This non-invasive procedure involves moving your head into several different positions to move displaced crystals from the inner ear back to where they are supposed to be. This can help you regain your sense of balance and reduce the dizziness symptoms caused by BPPV. This procedure may be supplemented with an anti-nausea antihistamine - such as meclizine - to prevent vertigo and nausea caused by the “spinning” sensation.
You should not perform Canalith repositioning on your own. Attempting this procedure at home can cause more problems and may not fully treat the cause of vertigo. Seek medical advice from a licensed health care provider before performing the Canalith repositioning process on your own.
Many cases of vertigo can be treated with simple at-home strategies. These include:
- Sit down or lie down when you begin to feel “spinning” sensations
- Avoid sudden movements or changes in position that can trigger vertigo
- Squat instead of bending over to pick up objects on the ground
- Use a cane or walker if you are at risk of falling and injuring yourself
- Turn on lights if you need to get up at night
Working with a licensed physical therapist can help to strengthen muscles and improve your balance. A physical therapist can teach you efficient and safe methods for sitting, standing, and crouching to help prevent dizziness from sudden movements. By helping you build strength and musculature, PT can also help you gain control of those movements. Sitting or standing slowly can be more taxing on your muscles and joints, so strengthening those areas can help ensure that you can change body positions comfortably and safely.
Frequently asked questions about vertigo treatment on Sesame
Can veritigo be treated online?
In many cases, yes. If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of vertigo, you should speak with a primary care provider on Sesame for medical advice. After discussing your medical history and symptoms, health care providers on Sesame can diagnose vertigo and offer potential treatment options.
If your health care provider suspects that your vertigo symptoms are being caused by an underlying condition, you may be asked to schedule a follow-up in-person visit for a physical examination and other testing. If this is needed, Sesame will reach out to you about next steps.
What kind of doctor should I see about vertigo?
The first step in getting treatment for vertigo is to talk about your symptoms and health history with a primary care provider. During a primary care appointment, your physician can talk with you about what you’ve been experiencing and may perform a physical exam to determine the possible causes of your vertigo.
Depending on what your provider thinks may be causing vertigo symptoms, they may refer you to a specialist. These doctors have specialized training to address specific parts of the body and may be able to provide more comprehensive care. Audiologists are vertigo specialists that treat balance disorders, hearing loss, and auditory problems. If your primary care provider believes that your symptoms are being caused by a condition affecting the inner ear, you may be referred to an audiologist for further evaluation.
A Doctor of Otolaryngology (also known as an ear, nose, and throat doctor) specializes in care related to those parts of the body. If your primary care provider believes that your symptoms are being caused by a condition affecting the inner ear, sinus cavity, or another part of the vestibular system, you may be referred to an ENT.
If your primary care provider believes that a condition affecting the brain or central nervous system is causing your symptoms, you may be referred to a Doctor of Neurology (also known as a neurologist). A neurologist can help diagnose and treat conditions such as brain tumors, or head injuries.
What if there are additional services recommended as a result of my appointment with the provider?
Your provider may recommend follow-up care, including additional services or tests, during your visit. You will not be charged for any services unless you select and pay for them directly.
You can book follow-up care, including labs, blood work, imaging, prescriptions, and more, directly through Sesame with guaranteed discounts. We’ve partnered with local laboratories so you can visit a lab near you to complete your specimen collection.
Can I get a prescription for vertigo medication on Sesame?
In most cases, prescription medication is not needed to treat vertigo. Symptoms often go away on their own without treatment as the brain is able to adapt to inner-ear changes. In other cases, physical therapy or procedures like Canalith repositioning is required to treat symptoms.
Doctors may prescribe medication if they believe that your vertigo symptoms are being caused by an underlying health condition. If so, they will discuss treatment options with you during your visit.
Sesame makes it easier than ever to get a new prescription or refill a prescription from the comfort of your own home! To discuss a new online prescription or refill, book a video visit with a doctor or nurse on Sesame to discuss a new online prescription or refill. Clinicians on Sesame can prescribe drugs that help treat vertigo--like antihistamines and diuretics.
Note that providers on Sesame cannot prescribe controlled substances.
Book a video visit on Sesamecare.com based on the health care you need, and pick up a new prescription or existing prescription refill at a pharmacy of your choice. Browse services on Sesame, set up an appointment with a real doctor at your convenience, and get the care you need.
How can I get a prescription fast?
Booking an appointment with a doctor or nurse online is typically the fastest way to get a prescription! Sesame offers same-day online doctor prescription and prescription refill appointments with board-certified healthcare professionals. If deemed clinically necessary, Sesame providers can provide prescriptions and prescription refills for most non-controlled substances. They can also provide you with a doctor’s note if necessary.
Most online prescription and prescription refill appointments take around 15 minutes, and providers are able to send a prescription to a pharmacy of your choice right after your appointment.
How much does an online doctor prescription and refill visit cost on Sesame?
Sesame offers online prescription and refill services at affordable prices, starting at just $29. If a new prescription is determined necessary by a provider, clinicians on Sesame can prescribe medication that helps treat blood pressure, infections, allergies, cholesterol problems, thyroid conditions, and more!
Can you get a prescription refill at a different pharmacy?
Yep! If you request a prescription transfer, you can easily move your prescription from one pharmacy to another. Plus, many pharmacies now offer mail services for home delivery. Here's how to request a prescription refill at a different pharmacy:
1) Call your new preferred pharmacy to request a transfer.
2) Provide that pharmacy with health insurance/ prescription info
3) Wait for the prescription to be transferred before you pick it up. It usually takes pharmacies a few days to transfer a prescription, but you will get a notification once this step has been completed. Either go pick up your prescription in person or set up home delivery.
If you need a prescription refill, book a visit with a real, quality doctor on Sesame today. Doctors on Sesame can refill prescriptions for high blood pressure, birth control, allergies, and more! Save up to 60% on your prescription refill visit when you book with Sesame.