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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What is the cause and treatment for vertigo?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16699 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 11 Apr 2014 in General Health
Question: Hello, I am a 47 year old black male. I smoke and drink alcohol. I have been on blood pressure medicin consistantly since late 2008/mid 2009. It took some time to get my blood pressure stable. In 2009 my doctor added a water pill to my blood pressure meds and an additional separate water pill. I also started taking a pill for my cholesterol. About a month ago, I started working out and drastically changed my diet. I have lost 20 pounds. Right around that time, I had my first attack of vertigo. My doctor at the time said there were stones in my inner ear that work to help keep balance. She stated that sometimes pieces break off and you get dizzy as a result. She told me that these peices eventually work their way out of your system. It took about 3 weeks and the symptoms went away. My new doctor based on my new habits told me to stop taking the extra water pill and told me to take half of my cholesterol pill. However, just recently I have started experiencing the vertigo, my ears ring, and I get a metallic taste in the rear of my mouth on my tongue and my eye sockets feel like I'm having a sinus headache. Sometimes these episodes last for just under a minute up to 4 or 5 minutes. I just want this to go away.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 48 minutes later
Brief Answer: sounds like meniere's disease Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Vertigo can be central (related to the brain or spinal cord) or peripheral (related to structures outside of the brain or spinal cord). Peripheral vertigo is far more common than central vertigo. There are 3 main causes of peripheral vertigo: (1) benign positional paroxysmal vertigo- lasts a few seconds, varies with the position of the head, correct by the doctor performing maneuver called epley or semont to correct the position of the stones mentioned (2)menieres disease- This sounds like the reason for your vertigo: episodes lasts a few minutes, associated with tinnitus (ringing in ears) and hearing loss in some persons, also causes a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear- a low salt diet and the use of the diuretic (water pill) can actually help with this type of vertigo In some persons , in addition to the salt, chocolate and caffeine can also trigger attacks.Smoking cessation is also part of the treatment for this condition. A short course of steroids may also be helpful in this condition because they reduce the inflammation in the ear If the above is not effective then there is a device called the meniett device that can be inserted that has been helpful in some persons (3)vestibular neuronitis- in this case the episodes last for hours at a time I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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