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Head maneuvers most effective treatment for vertigo

August 1, 2008

Until recently, it’s been unclear which of the many available treatments for vertigo works best. Now, a review of study data has found the most effective therapy is a safe, easy sequence of head movements, reports the August 2008 issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Vertigo is not your average dizzy spell. It’s a false sense of motion—a feeling of tilting, spinning, or swaying when you’re not actually moving. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), the most common form, occurs mainly in people ages 60 and over, mostly women. As its name implies, BPPV is triggered by certain changes in position, particularly head position—such as turning in bed or tilting the head backward to look up. BPPV results from a malfunction of the vestibular (balance) system, which is housed in an inner ear structure called the labyrinth.

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