📷Two weeks ago I woke up in a cold sweat with the room spinning. It was scary – I felt like my body was out of control. Luckily it only lasted about 30 seconds. When it stopped, I lay in bed exhausted and weak. All I wanted was to lie still and never move again.
Unfortunately I had to respond to nature’s call. I got up very slowly, moving my head as little as possible, maneuvered to the bathroom and back again. Then I slept for a couple of hours. When I woke up I didn’t feel great, but I was able to go about my day’s tasks.
Since I had had similar symptoms a year ago, I knew I had a form of vertigo called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). At that time an exercise called the Epley Maneuver cured it. So I did the maneuver hoping it would cure the symptoms like the last time. But I continued to feel a little dizzy, nauseous and tired – in general not feeling great.
I contacted my ENT and asked him to recommend a professional who treats vertigo. Luckily I was able to get an appointment the next day.
The physical therapist first determined on which side I had the vertigo. She did this by using a type of eyeglasses that showed my eye movements and thus on which side the vertigo originated. She then did the Epley maneuver. The maneuver repositions the small crystals which have gotten dislodged in the semicircular canals in the inner ear.
OMG – the maneuver left me exhausted and drained and even dizzier. Driving home was difficult and I wished I had brought a friend to do the driving. I got home safely and immediately fell into a deep sleep. To my great relief, when I woke up, I felt much better.
I was instructed to do these maneuvers twice a day and return if I didn’t feel better after 5 – 7 days. At first I was nervous about doing them as I felt so awful after the PT did them. But the physical therapist assured me the worst was over. She was right. I was able to do the maneuvers without feeling too weak and dizzy and it seemed to get better every day.
After doing the exercises for a week I felt much better but not perfect, so I returned to her. I found out that I was doing the maneuvers about 80% correctly but not 100%. I am hopeful that now that I’m doing the maneuvers correctly that in a few days I will feel 100%. I am very thankful that such a simple cure is helping me to feel so much better.
To prevent further episodes of vertigo my physical therapist suggested I do the maneuvers daily, alternating sides each day. Doing so will hopefully keep those tiny crystals moving fluidly
A few notes:
Vertigo affects all people – not just people with hearing loss.
If this happens to you, please see a health care provider because you may not have the same type of vertigo. What worked for me may not work for you.