Vertigo and stress

In a recent survey among ENT specialists at the HNOnet NRW, they stated that on average, 50% of all complaints complained of were stress-related or related to stress in practice. This included the symptom vertigo.

There are several reasons for this. Thus, permanent overloads lead to a poorer micro-perfusion of the inner ear. The sensitive sensory cells no longer get enough oxygen and can be damaged. The metabolism also suffers from stress. Increasingly harmful substances are deposited in the cell. The function worsens and it can lead to acute damage to the organ of balance. This can be thought of as an acute hearing loss, except that in this case not the hearing but the organ of balance is affected. But even an acute attack in Meniere’s disease with vertigo, hearing problems and tinnitus can be triggered by stress.

However, permanent stress also leads to processing disorders in the brain and thus worsens the regulation of balance. You literally get out of balance. Especially in the case of previous damage to the organ of balance, this leads to a diminished ability of the brain to compensate. Dizziness increases on days of high tension and on relaxed days. In these cases, in addition to improved stress management, it is above all targeted swindling in the form of modern biofeedback processes. The balance regulation and coordination ability can thus be increased and improve subjective dizziness complaints.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (Specialist for Otorhinolaryngology)


Positional vertigo and BPPV

Two-thirds of all acute dizzy spells are caused by dysfunction of the inner-ear equilibrium organ. And here again half of those affected suffers from a positional vertigo. The positional vertigo is thus the most common cause of acute dizziness and vertigo. It manifests itself as a fierce, only a few seconds lasting vertigo that occurs in certain movements of the head, typically e.g. when turning from one side to the other in bed. Because it is a harmless and well treatable form of vertigo, he is also called “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo” or BPPV.

The positional vertigo is caused by small crystals in the inner ear, which usually sense gravity and acceleration. However, these crystals get disloged and subsequently lost in the so-called semicircular canals, which are the fluid-filled accelerometer of the inner ear. Certain head movements whirle them around just like the snow in a snow globe. This leads to an extremely violent vertigo, which quickly fades away when the crystals sink down again.

The shift of the crystals is triggered, among other things, by concussion or whiplash. However, tension of the cervical spine is a accompanying symptom, although the relationships are not yet conclusively clear.

The diagnosis of a positional vertigo can be determined by the ENT specialist by means of a positional test. He brings the patient on the couch with his head in a low position and triggers a dizzy spell by abruptly turning the head. By observing eye movements during the following dizzy spell BPPV can clearly be diagnosed.

The treatment of the benign paroxysmal positional vertigo consists in so-called positioning maneuvers by which the stray crystals are to be conveyed out of the archways. Depending on which archway is affected, different storage maneuvers come into question. The exercises can be done by the doctor alone at home and usually lead to success after a few days. Not to be confused with these exercises are a dizziness training for chronic dizziness.

The most common positioning maneuver is the Epley maneuver.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT specialist)


Seniority vertigo: counter fall risks with vertigo training

From the age of 70, seniority vertigo and with it the risk of falling increases with every other year of life. The causes for this are manifold: visual and hearing disorders, degradation processes in the brain, a weakness of the musculoskeletal system and cardiovascular diseases add up and can bring one in the truest sense of the word out of balance. Since aging processes and many cases can not be completely avoided, the provision of old age precautions plays a particularly important role.

Keep moving!

In particular, regular exercise helps to balance and improve walking safety. Extensive scientific studies have shown that exercise supports almost all physical and mental functions and can partially halt aging processes. Exercise strengthens the muscles and the cardiovascular system and promotes the interaction of the organs involved in the sense of balance. Subjective dizziness and balance disorders can be improved.

Good things improved: dizziness training with biofeedback

Even more effective is vertigo and balance training in the form of a modern biofeedback process in countering seniority vertigo. This allows targeted training of the sense of balance and coordination and minimizes the risk of falling sustainably. Through an acoustic feedback via a headphone, for example, in the case of the dreamer trainer EQUIVert, the practitioner is notified of any body fluctuation and thereby learns to stabilize himself. In a customized training program, the level of difficulty is increased step by step and it shows usually after a few practice sessions significant improvements.

Autor: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT specialist)


Biofeedback for vertigo and dizziness complaints

Today, we know that vertigo arises as a result of conflicting information to the brain. For example, if one of the equilibrium organs in the inner ear is less well than the other, the center of equilibrium in the brain receives differing information. Since this information contradicts itself, a subjective feeling of dizziness and vertigo often also accompanied by a fall inclination arises. You are in the truest sense of the word out of balance.

The central compensation

If the damage remains in the inner ear for a long time, the brain can get used to the conflicting information. It learns to weigh the information differently and in this way creates a new balance. The vertigo disappears gradually and occurs only in special stress situations with high demands on a healthy balance system. This learning process of the brain is called central compensation. It is based on the so-called neuroplasticity, the ability of our brain to form new neural connections and networks. In young people, this ability is more pronounced than in older people. Therefore, the vertigo symptoms improve faster the younger a patient is. Especially for people from middle age, therefore, an intensive and above all effective training is required. Thus, the vertigo symptoms can be improved as quickly as possible and the risk of falling can be reduced.

Physiotherapy and biofeedback

This learning process can be promoted with a targeted vertigo training, which gives the brain time and again information about the movement in the room. It is important to differentiate between simple exercise exercises and physiotherapy of so-called biofeedback methods, which provide the brain with additional helpful information during training and are thus much more effective. Optical, acoustic or touch stimuli show the person concerned his position in space and replace the missing information, for example, from the equilibrium organ in the inner ear via other sensory channels.

Depending on the nature of the cause of dizziness and age, a dizziness training takes different lengths. A noticeable improvement occurs, however, especially in the biofeedback process but very quickly: in scientific studies could usually be found after ten training sessions, a significant improvement in the dizziness.

Further information on exercise targeting vertigo symptoms can be found here.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT-specialist)