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Spinning out of control: Vertigo

December 27, 2016

About the Author

photo of Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS

Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS, Contributor

Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN FAHS is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School (HMS), and holds clinical positions at three HMS affiliated institutions. He serves as the Director of Continuing Medical Education at … See Full Bio
View all posts by Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS


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January 10, 2017

Though 78, I do a lot of hill-walking with friends, but keep off walks whose route is going to pass sheer drops, which give me vertigo, and in particularly bad instances even an urge to throw myself off. I’ve had this problem since my thirties, though less acutely in some periods than in others. I’ve always understood from my doctor that while benign positional temporary vertigo can be treated with the Epley Manouvre, my type of vertigo can’t be cured or even reduced. Would the medications mentioned here help me?

robinlee quinones
January 3, 2017

We need a cure.

January 3, 2017

Is there a relationship between vertigo and concussions?

Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS
January 8, 2017

Head trauma can be one of the many pathological causes of vertigo.

December 29, 2016

Great summary of the problem. Nice to see clear information in the usual see of misunderstanding one finds online. One minor point: Readers should not interpret your advice to not go down below as being advice against lying down. Lying down DOES help, probably by increasing the somatosensory inputs telling you how you are moving. However, probably best to lie down in the fresh air and yes, when eyes are open, to look at the horizon. It also matters where you lie. Best to be near the center of motion of the boat so you get less acceleration.

Best regards,
(spatial orientation researcher)

Karan Singh
December 28, 2016

Excellent article. I was wondering about this so I’m very happy I found your website!.

Rita Pope
January 9, 2017

As an adult I have benign vertigo as my two adult sisters do.We all suffered from car sickness as children. Is there a genetic component to benign vertigo?

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