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Struggling with stress? | NHS inform

What is stress?

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.

Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.

Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do.

Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.

You may feel anxious, irritable or low in self esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably.

You may also experience headaches, muscle tension or pain, or dizziness.

Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called “fight or flight” response.

Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you’re constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress.

Managing stress in daily life

Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.

There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.

Studies have found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.

When to see your GP about your stress levels

If you’ve tried self-help techniques and they aren’t working, you should go to see your GP. They may suggest other coping techniques for you to try or recommend some form of counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.

If your stress is causing serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, you may need to take medication or further tests.

Mental health issues, including stress, anxiety and depression, are the reason for one-in-five visits to a GP.

Recognising your stress triggers

If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.

Things you might want to write down include:

  • the date, time and place of a stressful episode
  • what you were doing
  • who you were with
  • how you felt emotionally
  • what you were thinking
  • what you started doing
  • how you felt physically
  • a stress rating (0-10 where 10 is the most stressed you could ever feel)

You can use the diary to:

  • work out what triggers your stress
  • work out how you operate under pressure
  • develop better coping mechanisms

Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.

Take action to tackle stress

There’s no quick-fix cure for stress, and no single method will work for everyone. However, there are simple things you can do to change the common life problems that can cause stress or make stress a problem. These include relaxation techniques, exercise and talking the issues through.

Breathing and relaxation exercises

Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.

This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.


To access a BSL version of this playlist, click here.

Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.

Get stress support

Because talking through the issues is one of the key ways to tackle stress, you may find it useful to attend a stress management group or class. These are sometimes run in doctors’ surgeries or community centres. The classes help people identify the cause of their stress and develop effective coping techniques.

It’s always better to talk about your anxieties or stresses sooner rather than later. You may wish to phone a helpline such as Breathing Space (0800 83 85 87, open 6pm-2am Monday to Thursday and 24 hours at the weekend, from 6pm Friday to 6am Monday) where their advisors can listen and help you figure out ways of coping.

Ask your GP for more information if you’re interested in attending a stress support group. You can also use the search directory to find emotional support services in your area.

Coping with fears and phobias

A fear becomes a phobia when you have to change your lifestyle to manage it. A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear or dread aroused by a particular object or circumstance, to the point where it severely restricts your life.

If you have a phobia, you’ll go to great lengths to avoid an object or situation that most people consider harmless.

Coming into contact, or even the thought of coming into contact, with the object of the phobia makes you panic.

But you don’t need to live with a phobia. All phobias are treatable, says Professor Isaac Marks of King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry. “There’s no need for anyone to continue to suffer,” he says. “People can overcome phobias.”

Some phobias, such as the fear of snakes (ophiophobia), won’t usually affect everyday life, but others, such as agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces), can make it very hard to lead a normal life.

“People ask for help when a phobia starts to interfere with their life – for example, they may be forced to give up work because they can’t take public transport, or staying indoors to avoid meeting people,” says Marks.

“It’s a disabling condition that affects about 8% of the UK population at some point in their lives.”

Phobias can be specific – such as the fear of spiders, heights or dentists – or more generalised, such as the fear of open spaces, a fear of interacting with other people (social phobia) or even the dread of developing a phobia (phobophobia).

Most common phobias

The 10 most commonly reported phobias in the UK, according to a survey by Anxiety UK, are:

  • social phobia – fear of interacting with other people
  • agoraphobia – fear of open public spaces
  • emetophobia – fear of vomiting
  • erythrophobia – fear of blushing
  • driving phobia – fear of driving
  • hypochondria – fear of illness
  • aerophobia – fear of flying
  • arachnophobia – fear of spiders
  • zoophobia – fear of animals
  • claustrophobia – fear of confined spaces

Social phobia may start off as shyness, which then becomes exaggerated to the point of disrupting your life.

Agoraphobia is often associated with panic attacks. People who have agoraphobia tend to avoid places that spark this panic.

“Agoraphobia and social phobia are usually much more disabling than specific phobias, although occasionally someone with a specific phobia is severely affected by it,” says psychologist Professor Paul Salkovskis of King’s College London.

“Specific phobias are much easier to live with than the more generalised phobias, because you can’t really avoid people and going to crowded places.”

How phobias start

It’s not exactly known how phobias develop, but specific phobias are thought to originate in childhood, between the ages of about four and eight.

“Social phobia and agoraphobia start much later,” says Salkovskis. “Social phobia mostly starts at puberty and agoraphobia usually starts in the late teens or early twenties.”

He says that familiarising children with the things they’re afraid of is a good way to prevent a phobia from developing.

“That way we can wipe out a person’s fear of spiders (for example) before it becomes a problem in later life.”

Help for phobias

For specific phobias, treatment involves some kind of exposure to the thing you’re most afraid of.

Self-exposure therapy, a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can be done using self-help books, self-help groups or online self-help resources.

Our mental health self-help guides are based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and have proven highly successful in helping people with phobias and other mental health issues. 


What Is It, Causes, Signs & Treatment


What is vertigo?

Vertigo is a sensation that the environment around you is spinning in circles. It can make you feel dizzy and off-balance. Vertigo isn’t a disease. Rather, it’s a symptom of varying conditions.

Are there different types of vertigo?

There are two main types of vertigo:

  • Peripheral vertigo: This happens when there’s a problem with the inner ear.
  • Central vertigo: This occurs when there’s an issue with the brain. Causes can include infection, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury or stroke.

What should I know about vertigo vs dizziness?

While both dizziness and vertigo are considered balance problems, the two symptoms are different. Dizziness is an overall feeling of being unbalanced. With vertigo, you have a sensation that you’re moving or that your surroundings are spinning.

Who does vertigo affect?

Vertigo attacks can happen at any age, but they’re more common in people over 65. Women are somewhat more likely to experience vertigo than men. Some people experience vertigo as a side effect of pregnancy.

How common is vertigo?

Vertigo is a common issue. Nearly 40% of Americans experience vertigo at least once during their lifetime.

How long does vertigo last?

On average, vertigo attacks last several seconds to several minutes. In severe cases, however, people can experience vertigo for hours, days, weeks or even months.

What does vertigo feel like?

Many people compare vertigo to motion sickness. It can make you feel like you’re spinning, rocking or tilting. Feelings of unbalance may worsen when you stand, walk, change positions or move your head.

Is vertigo a serious condition?

Vertigo can be scary but the condition itself isn’t considered serious. However, vertigo can be linked to other potentially serious health conditions. That’s why you should inform your healthcare provider if you experience recurrent or prolonged vertigo attacks.

Symptoms and Causes

Is vertigo hereditary?

While vertigo isn’t hereditary, it can be a symptom of a range of conditions — some of which run in families. Therefore, frequent vertigo attacks could involve genetic factors.

What can trigger vertigo?

A number of syndromes or conditions can result in vertigo. These include:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): The most common cause of vertigo, BPPV is typically triggered by changed in your head’s position. People with BPPV often experience vertigo when lying down, sitting up or turning over in bed.
  • Meniere’s disease: This condition causes fluids to build up inside the ear, leading to vertigo attacks. Meniere’s disease may also be accompanied by tinnitus (ringing in the ears), fluctuating hearing loss or a feeling a fullness in the ears.
  • Labyrinthitis: If the inner ear labyrinth becomes inflamed or infected, it’s called labyrinthitis. The ear labyrinth houses the vestibulocochlear nerve, which transmits information to the brain regarding sound, position and head motion. People with labyrinthitis often experience headaches, ear pain, vision changes, tinnitus or hearing loss.
  • Vestibular neuritis: This inflammation of the vestibular nerve can cause vertigo. Vestibular neuritis is similar to labyrinthitis, but it doesn’t alter your hearing. People with this condition may experience vertigo and nausea or blurred vision.
  • Cholesteatoma: Repeated ear infections can cause a noncancerous skin growth to develop in the middle ear. This condition is referred to as cholesteatoma, and it can lead to dizziness, vertigo and hearing loss.

What else causes vertigo?

There are other factors that can lead to vertigo attacks. Here are some common vertigo causes:

What is migraine-associated vertigo?

Many people who have migraines also experience vertigo during episodes. Vertigo may occur before the onset of a headache, during a headache or — most commonly — during a headache-free period. It should be noted, though, that some people have vertigo as their main migraine symptom instead of a headache.

Can stress cause vertigo?

Stress itself doesn’t cause vertigo, but it can contribute to inner ear dysfunction. This can lead to vertigo attacks in some people. Approximately 5% of American adults experience vertigo when they’re anxious or stressed.

What are common vertigo symptoms?

As mentioned above, vertigo is a symptom of many different conditions. However, vertigo can also occur in combination with other symptoms, including:

Diagnosis and Tests

How is vertigo diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your symptoms. They may also recommend one or more tests to confirm your diagnosis.

What tests will be done to diagnose vertigo?

Vertigo can be diagnosed with tests performed by your healthcare provider. These may include:

  • Fukuda-Unterberger’s test: You’ll be asked to march in place for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. If you rotate or lean to one side, it could mean that you have a problem with your inner ear labyrinth. This could result in vertigo.
  • Romberg’s test: For this assessment, you’ll be asked to close your eyes while standing with your feet together and your arms to your side. If you feel unbalanced or unsteady, it could mean that you have an issue with your central nervous system.
  • Head impulse test: For this test, your provider will gently move your head to each side while you focus on a stationary target (for example a spot on the wall or your provider’s nose). The clinician will be checking to see how the inner ear balance system is working to help control your eye movements while your head is in motion.
  • Vestibular test battery: This includes several different tests to help identify an inner ear problem. Goggles are placed over the eyes to monitor eye movement responses while moving your eyes to follow a target, moving your head and body, and even after warm and cool water are put into the ear canal.

In addition to the tests outlined above, your healthcare provider may request radiographs. These may include:

Management and Treatment

Will vertigo go away on its own?

Vertigo goes away on its own in many cases. However, there are several treatments that can successfully manage vertigo.

What are common vertigo treatments?

The vertigo treatment that’s right for you depends on several factors, including the root cause. Some of the most notable vertigo treatments include:

  • Medication: Treating the underlying cause of your vertigo can help ease symptoms. For example, if vertigo is a byproduct of an infection, your healthcare provider can prescribe antibiotics. Steroids can help reduce inflammation. There are also medications to relieve other vertigo symptoms, such as nausea or motion sickness.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation: If vertigo is the result of an inner ear problem, this type of physical therapy may help reduce your symptoms. Vestibular rehabilitation helps strengthen your other senses so they can compensate for vertigo episodes.
  • Canalith repositioning procedure (CRP): If you have BPPV, canalith repositioning maneuvers help move calcium deposits into an inner ear chamber where they will be absorbed by your body.
  • Surgery: When vertigo is due to a serious underlying issue, such as a brain tumor or neck injury, surgery may be necessary.

Are there any home remedies for vertigo?

There isn’t enough evidence to prove that vertigo can be treated with alternative therapies. However, some people take herbal supplements to ease their symptoms. Popular herbal vertigo remedies include:

  • Turmeric.
  • Ginkgo biloba.
  • Cayenne.
  • Ginger root.
  • Gongjin-dan.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before adding any herbal supplements to your diet. They can help you safely incorporate them into your regimen.


How do I stop vertigo attacks?

There are a few steps you can take to reduce your risk for vertigo. These include:

  • Taking extra time to stand up, turn your head or perform other triggering movements.
  • Sleeping with your head elevated on two pillows.
  • Sitting down as soon as you feel dizzy.
  • Squatting instead of bending over when picking something up.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider?

If vertigo becomes severe or recurrent, it’s time to call your healthcare provider. There could be an underlying health condition that’s causing your symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are vertigo and dizziness some of the symptoms of COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 can cause neurological symptoms, including dizziness and vertigo.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Vertigo can come on suddenly without warning. Although vertigo attacks can feel scary, they go away quickly most of the time. If you’re experiencing severe or prolonged vertigo, your symptoms could be associated with another medical condition. Your healthcare provider can help you identify the root cause of your vertigo and determine personalized treatment options to help you get back to normal life.

Peripheral, Central, BPPV, and More

If you’ve been on your share of amusement park rides, you probably know what vertigo is like — the feeling that the world is spinning around you. But if you feel dizzy and didn’t just step off a roller coaster, check with your doctor to see if you’ve got one of the two most common forms of vertigo: central and peripheral.

There are drugs and other treatments for both types. Finding out which one you’ve got — and what’s causing it — can help you and your doctor decide how to manage it.

Keep in mind that vertigo is a symptom of a medical condition, not a disease by itself. Your doctor will try to figure out what’s behind it.

What Causes Peripheral Vertigo?

If your doctor tells you that you have peripheral vertigo, you’ve got plenty of company. It’s the most common type of vertigo. Most cases are caused by a problem in the inner ear, which controls your balance.

The most common causes of the inner ear trouble that leads to peripheral vertigo are:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Vestibular neuronitis
  • Meniere’s disease

BPPV is a condition that causes small crystals to get loose and start to float in the fluid of your inner ear. The movement of the crystals and the fluid leads you to feel dizzy. Sometimes an ear injury can lead to BPPV.

Vestibular neuronitis causes severe dizziness that comes on suddenly and lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. Doctors think an infection with a virus may be the cause.

Meniere’s disease is condition that combines symptoms of dizziness with occasional hearing loss. Doctors aren’t sure what causes it, though stress can be a trigger, along with eating salt or drinking caffeine and alcohol.

There are some other conditions of the inner ear that also lead to peripheral vertigo, including:

  • Labyrinthitis
  • Perilymph fistula
  • Superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome (SSCDS)

Labyrinthitis may be caused by a viral infection of your inner ear. Perilymph fistula may be due to a head injury or sudden pressure change, such as from scuba diving. SSCDS may be due to a breakdown of part of a bony part of a canal that carries fluids in your inner ear.

What Other Symptoms May I Have With Peripheral Vertigo?

Nausea and vomiting, sweating, and ear problems are all common symptoms that you may have along with vertigo.

If your peripheral vertigo is caused by an inner ear infection or a disease, you may have some pain or a feeling of fullness in your ear.

In labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease, you may have hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing of the ears) in one or both ears along with the vertigo.

There are some common features of peripheral vertigo that can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Vertigo that starts without warning, and stops just as quickly, is more likely to be peripheral vertigo.

Your eyes may also move without your control. This movement may go away when you try to focus your vision on a fixed point. It also tends to only happen during the first few days of vertigo symptoms and then disappears.

How Is Peripheral Vertigo Treated?

You can treat peripheral vertigo by managing the condition that’s causing it.

BPPV, the most common cause of peripheral vertigo, can be treated with a 15-minute exercise known as the Epley maneuver. This series of movements, done in your doctor’s office, helps return the crystals that control balance to the correct place in your inner ear.

Anti-inflammatory drugs can sometimes help ease symptoms if your peripheral vertigo is caused by vestibular neuronitis, Meniere’s disease, or labyrinthitis. Meniere’s disease can also be controlled by cutting down on salt, caffeine, and alcohol and lowering your stress.

For some conditions, such as perilymph fistula or SSCDS, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct problems in your inner ear.

Some conditions causing peripheral vertigo may be chronic, meaning they are ongoing. In these situations, you’ll need a combination of balance exercises, lifestyle changes, and medication to manage the vertigo. Motion sickness medicine may also help ease nausea. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines that help reduce balance problems.

What Causes Central Vertigo?

Central vertigo is caused by a disease or injury to the brain, such as:

What Other Symptoms Could I Have From Central Vertigo?

While episodes of peripheral vertigo tend to pass quickly, central vertigo often comes without warning and may last for long periods of time. The episodes are generally much more intense than peripheral, and you may be unable to stand or walk without help.

Eye movement that you can’t control happens in both types of vertigo. But in central vertigo this eye movement lasts longer (weeks to months during vertigo episodes) and it does not go away when you’re asked to focus on a fixed point.

The hearing problems that frequently happen in peripheral vertigo or AICA strokeare rare with central vertigo. But other symptoms — like headaches, weakness, or trouble swallowing — are common with central vertigo.

How Is Central Vertigo Treated?

Finding out the root cause of the vertigo and treating it is the only way to manage central vertigo. If migraines are the cause, for instance, medication and reducing your stress may help.

For some ongoing conditions, such as multiple sclerosis stroke, and some tumors, treatment may consist of managing the symptoms. This may include medicines for nausea and drugs that help lessen the sensation of movement.

A stroke in the brain can trigger not only vertigo but dysarthria (slurred speech), ataxia (problems moving), weakness, and numbness/tingling. You should get emergency help right away.

Everything you ever wanted to know about vertigo (but were too dizzy to ask) | Health

Up to one in 10 people will experience vertigo, dizziness or unsteadiness in any given year. In the vast majority of cases, the symptoms are unpleasant but harmless, and get better without treatment. Vertigo is used by health profressionals to describe the feeling that you, or the world around you, is moving when it is not: Alfred Hitchock’s masterpiece Vertigo is actually about a man’s morbid fear of heights (acrophobia) and not true vertigo, although the terms are often used interchangeably.

Have I got dizziness or vertigo?

Specialist physiotherapist Nicola Harris says “dizziness covers a multitude of things. It can be a lightheaded feeling, like you are going to faint, which is more likely to be a cardiovascular or breathing pattern problem. Or you may feel unsteady on your feet. When you move your head, it can feel like what you are looking at has to ‘catch up’ with you afterwards.”

Dr Diego Kaski, neuro-otologist at London’s Charing Cross hospital, says vertigo creates the illusion of movement. Normally, the brain recognises that you are moving by integrating signals from your eyes, inner ear and receptors that sense body movement in the neck and limbs. But in true vertigo, you feel as though you are standing still while the world moves around you.

What causes it?

Vertigo is often attributed to an inner ear infection called vestibular neuritis that starts after a cold and can last for up to a couple of weeks. But Kaski says vertigo is often mislabelled as this when in fact benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BBPV), and vestibular migraine are the more common and likely culprits.

BPPV is a mechanical problem of the inner ear. We have crystals inside the inner-ear balance organs that move when we do, but if the signals lag behind those emitted from the eyes and limbs, it creates an illusion of movement. In vertigo, the inner-ear signals cause jerky, uncoordinated eye movements, known as nystagmus, which conflict with the brain’s other movement signals. The repeated attacks usually last less than 30 seconds, and are precipitated by head movements including rolling over in bed or looking up.

It could be a migraine

One in 10 people with migraines get bouts of vertigo which come and go, that don’t necessarily coincide with the more typical symptoms of a headache and can last from a few seconds to a few days. These people may be hypersensitive to light, noise and smells. The treatment is the same as managing migraine headaches: try to identify and avoid triggers, short-term painkillers and anti-sickness medication and long-term preventive treatments such as beta blockers.

How do I treat vertigo?

It depends on the cause. Medical advice for vestibular neuritis is to avoid bed rest and get back to normal life as quickly as possible. This kick-starts the brain into compensating for the vertigo so it doesn’t become a long-term problem. BPPV can be cured by head movement exercises (for example, the Epley manoeuvre or Brandt-Daroff exercises) that reset the inner-ear organ of balance. Kaski is exploring novel ways of delivering this treatment using virtual reality glasses and a mobile phone app. You will be guided through the exercises without having to wait months for an appointment with a trained physiotherapist. Drug treatment of BPPV doesn’t work very well, according to Kaski. Prochlorperazine is good for nausea, but Betahistine, often prescribed by GPs, doesn’t help much at the doses that are given.

Kaski is interested in non-invasive brain stimulation. An electrical coil is placed over the head overlying the part of the brain – the parietal lobe – that processes balance. Modifying the electrical activity in this may relieve vertigo.

Can it be caused by stress?

There is certainly a link to stress; animals, including us, rely on signals about movement of predators and prey to survive. Illusions of movement activate the autonomic nervous system, which includes an adrenaline-fuelled fight-or-flight reaction. The extra adrenaline can cause unpleasant symptoms such as palpitations and anxiety. Conversely, anxiety itself can cause unsteadiness; people say it feels as if the world is moving under their feet.

Why do some people get vertigo more than others?

Some people are prone to vertigo because they are more visually dependent than others. This group will think they are moving because the signal from their eyes isn’t being integrated with the information from their body. We all experience this to a certain extent; when you are sitting on a train and it pulls out slowly from the station, it can be hard to know what’s moving.

What else could it be?

Meniere’s disease is a rare condition that affects the inner ear. It causes sudden attacks of vertigo lasting two to three hours, with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and progressive hearing loss. Harris says further investigations, scan and consultations are important if there are any red-flag symptoms suggesting more serious underlying disease. These rare but potentially dangerous conditions include head injuries, strokes, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuromas (benign growths on the nerve in the inner ear) and brain tumours.

Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis | HealthLink BC

Topic Overview

What are labyinthitis and vestibular neuritis?

Labyrinthitis (say “lab-uh-rin-THY-tus”) is a problem inside the inner ear. It happens when the labyrinth, a part of the inner ear that helps control your balance, gets swollen and inflamed.

Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve. The nerve is located in the inner ear. It carries signals that help with your balance from the inner ear to the brain.

The inflammation of either condition may cause sudden vertigo. This makes you feel like you’re spinning or whirling. Labyrinthitis may also cause temporary hearing loss or a ringing sound in your ears.

The two problems have similar symptoms and treatment. But if you have both sudden vertigo and hearing loss, you need urgent care to rule out a stroke.

See pictures of the inner ear showing the labyrinth and an inflamed vestibular nerve.

What causes labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis?

The causes of labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis are not clear. They can happen after a viral infection or, more rarely, after an infection caused by bacteria. The trigger may be an upper respiratory infection, such as influenza (flu) or a cold. Less often, they may start after a middle ear infection.

The infection inflames the vestibular nerve. This causes the nerve to send incorrect signals to the brain that the body is moving. But your other senses (such as vision) don’t detect the same movement. The confusion in signals can make you feel that the room is spinning or that you have lost your balance (vertigo).

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of both labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis is vertigo. Vertigo is not the same as feeling dizzy. Dizziness means that you feel unsteady or light-headed. But vertigo makes you feel like you’re spinning or whirling. It may make it hard for you to walk. Symptoms of vertigo and dizziness may be caused by many problems other than labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis.

Vertigo begins without warning. It often starts 1 to 2 weeks after you’ve had the flu or a cold. It may be severe enough to make you vomit or make you feel sick to your stomach. Vertigo slowly goes away over a few days to weeks. But for a month or longer, you may still get vertigo symptoms if you suddenly move your head a certain way.

Labyrinthitis may also cause hearing loss and a ringing sound in your ears (tinnitus). Most often, these symptoms don’t last for more than a few weeks.

How are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis diagnosed?

Your doctor can tell if you have labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis by doing a physical examination and asking about your symptoms and past health. Your doctor will look for signs of viral infections that can trigger labyrinthitis.

If the cause of your vertigo is not clear, your doctor may do other tests, such as electronystagmography or an MRI to rule out other problems.

How are labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis treated?

Most of the time, labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis go away on their own. This normally takes several weeks. If the cause is a bacterial infection, your doctor will give you antibiotics. But most cases are caused by viral infections, which can’t be cured with antibiotics.

Your doctor may prescribe steroid medicines, which may help you get better sooner. He or she may also give you other medicines, such as antiemetics, antihistamines, and sedatives, to help control the nausea and vomiting caused by vertigo.

Vertigo usually gets better as your body adjusts (compensation). Medicines like antihistamines can help your symptoms, but they may make it take longer for vertigo to go away. It’s best to only use medicines when they are needed and for as little time as possible.

Staying active can help you get better. Check with your doctor about trying balance exercises at home. These include simple head movements and keeping your balance while standing and sitting. They may reduce symptoms of vertigo.

Vertigo in Children

Vertigo (VER ti go) is the medical word for the feeling of spinning. Your child may feel like the world is moving, but there is no movement. These feelings come and go. They may last for seconds or for days. Your child may feel worse when changing positions, standing, rolling over, coughing, or sneezing. Vertigo can be caused by a problem inside the ear.

Vertigo is not contagious. You cannot get it from another person or give it to someone else.

Signs and Symptoms

You may see your child do some of the following:

  • Jerky eye movements
  • Tilting of the head
  • Swaying
  • Trouble walking straight
  • Pulling to one direction
  • Rocking
  • Falling

Your child may feel some of the following:

  • Spinning feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Motion sickness
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Ear pain or fullness or pressure in the ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Sweating


There is no specific test for diagnosing vertigo. The tests that the doctor will do will depend on your child’s signs and symptoms.


Treatment for vertigo depends upon what is causing it. Most often, vertigo goes away without treatment. This is because the brain is able to adjust to changes in the inner ear.

Treatment may include:

  • Physical therapy exercises to improve balance. The physical therapist may teach your child special head and body movements.
  • Medicine to relieve symptoms of nausea and motion sickness.
  • Antibiotic medicine to treat inner ear infections.
  • Steroid medicine to decrease swelling.
  • Water pills to reduce the amount of fluid in the inner ear.

When to Get Emergency Care

  • Sudden change in speech
  • Sudden change in vision
  • Head injury from a fall
  • Repeat episodes of falling
  • Continued vomiting

When to Call the Doctor

  • If your child falls a lot
  • If your child faints
  • If the symptoms of vertigo keep your child from doing everyday activities
  • If you have any questions about vertigo

Harm Prevention and Symptom Control

To avoid getting hurt during an episode of vertigo, your child should not drive or use machines. Activities that involve climbing or hiking should also be avoided.

To prevent the symptoms from getting worse, your child should avoid sudden movement and changes in position. It is important to change positions slowly.

Vertigo in Children (PDF)

HH-I-385 6/15 Copyright 2015, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

90,000 Symptoms and causes of dizziness

Table of contents:


Dizziness is a general term that generally denotes weakness, lack of clarity of consciousness, loss of balance or sensation of rotation. Dizziness attacks usually do not pose a great threat to health, but sometimes they can be based on serious disorders (stroke, brain tumor, anemia). Mild dizziness, occurring in the form of episodes of confusion, confusion, can occur when the head is turned in different directions, when the position of the head changes, and also when a person gets out of a chair or bed.Such attacks of dizziness last no more than a minute. More severe vertigo can last for minutes, hours, or even days and is accompanied by symptoms such as loss of balance (at risk of falls), unsteady gait, hearing impairment, nausea, ringing in the ears, and blurred vision. During such an attack, you may feel a sharp weakness, as if you could faint. Such attacks occur with diseases of the inner ear, anxiety, hyperventilation. Some people feel dizzy when they rise too quickly from a sitting or horizontal position.This type of dizziness, which occurs when changing position, is also called orthostatic hypotension and is caused by a sharp outflow of blood from the brain during a sharp change in position. At the same time, the pressure in the vessels supplying the brain decreases rather quickly. To avoid this condition, you need to get up not abruptly, gradually. Before getting up, sit on the edge of a bed or chair to find a fulcrum. When lifting, the muscles of the legs should be tense, so that more blood will flow to the brain.There are other causes of vertigo. These include dehydration, high blood pressure, heart disease, and anxiety. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have hypertension or heart disease or feel dizzy.

If you have problems maintaining balance, it becomes difficult to walk straight and straight. There is a feeling that your feet are unsteady on the ground, and that you are about to fall. This type of balance disorder is a serious hazard, as there is a high risk of injury if you fall.Impaired balance is often caused by age-related changes in the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear (labyrinth), decreased sensitivity of the balance receptors of the lower extremities and their joints, arthritis, and poor vision. See your doctor if you feel unable to maintain your balance or lose your sense of support. To protect yourself from falling, do not turn off the lights at night, remove the carpets, because you can trip over them, walk with a cane or a special stick.

With systemic dizziness, there is a feeling of rotation, whirling, twisting of the surrounding objects. This can also cause nausea, vomiting and flies before the eyes. This type of dizziness is usually temporary, does not pose a great danger to life, but is caused by a disturbance in the semicircular canals of the inner ear, which are responsible for maintaining balance. Such disorders include labyrinthitis, benign positional vertigo, and Meniere’s disease.

Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear, often of viral etiology.In this condition, the centers of equilibrium in the brain are overstimulated, which leads to a sudden significant imbalance, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and involuntary movements of the eyeballs. These symptoms can appear suddenly during the day, but sometimes a person may wake up with similar complaints. Severe dizziness can last for several days. Fortunately, the labyrinthitis usually subsides over time and does not recur. It usually takes several months for symptoms to disappear completely.During this time, transient sensations of loss of balance may occur with certain movements of the head or with a certain position of it, and this condition is called benign positional vertigo. Benign positional vertigo occurs only when the head position changes (usually when turning in bed, tilting the head back and forth). This is the most common type of vertigo in adults. Usually, this feeling of rotation lasts no more than a minute and can occur both once a day and whenever a person turns his head.Benign positional vertigo can occur as a complication of labyrinthitis or as an independent disease. It usually takes about 4 months for the symptoms to disappear completely. If you have episodes of severe dizziness, discuss them with your doctor.

Meniere’s disease is a consequence of an increased concentration of sodium in the inner ear fluid. A high sodium content increases pressure in the inner ear space, which leads to imbalance, as well as to hearing fluctuations.This condition is quite common among adults of all age groups. Patients have ear noise, a feeling of congestion, pressure in one ear. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. Symptoms can come and go, be mild and very intense, and usually last from several hours to several days. Episodes of inner ear disorders can recur every few days or every few years. In the intervals between these attacks, most patients with Meniere’s disease feel well.


  • Sudden rise from a sitting or lying position
  • Hunger, stress, high temperature
  • Diseases of the visual apparatus
  • Certain medicines, alcohol
  • A sharp rise to a great height (in an airplane), because at high altitudes, the oxygen content in the air is less than on the ground.
  • Motion sickness

Dizziness can be a sign of more serious medical conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Heart disease
  • Temporary partial blockade of blood flow in the arteries supplying the brain
  • Heavy blow to the head
  • Subdural hemorrhage (bleeding in the space between the membranes covering the brain)
  • Brain tumor


  • Periodic dizziness and feeling of disorientation, weakness when getting out of bed.
  • Imbalance, a feeling of circling objects around, lasting more than three days.
  • Imbalance with nausea and vomiting.
  • A feeling of disorientation in space associated with fever, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or pain in the ear.
  • A feeling of disorientation in space with a head injury or severe headache.
  • Vertigo with feeling of numbness, weakness in the limbs and involuntary urination and defecation.
  • Dizziness and flies or double vision, hearing loss, slurred speech
  • Loss of balance with shock symptoms (rapid pulse, shallow breathing, cold, damp to the touch, pale face).
  • Loss of balance and feeling of pressure or chest pain.

What You Can Do

If an attack of dizziness begins when you stand up quickly, do it slowly, slowly.If you are currently feeling dizzy, sit down slowly and assume a reclining position. This makes it less likely that you will fall and injure yourself. If you feel that you may pass out, or your eyes become dark, sit with your head between your knees.

Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and maintain normal blood pressure.

Give up alcohol, caffeine, smoking.

Don’t drive

Relaxation techniques can be used to overcome anxiety.Breathe slowly and deeply

If you feel the approach of an attack of dizziness, do not close your eyes and focus your vision on any one stationary object. This can help reduce the intensity of the discomfort.

If your family members also feel dizzy, have a headache, or complain of nausea or vomiting, this could be due to carbon dioxide poisoning. Go outside immediately and seek help from a hospital.

Consult a physician if dizziness persists, recurs frequently, becomes more intense, or is accompanied by visual impairment, hearing impairment, numbness or weakness in the arms and legs.

What a doctor can do

The doctor can determine the immediate cause of the dizziness, prescribe appropriate medications (for example, antiemetic or antihistamines). If your doctor discovers any serious health problems that are causing you dizziness, he or she may refer you to an appropriate specialist.

90,000 Symptoms and Treatment – Health Harmony

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease in which a person’s body experiences constant mental and physical weakness.Weakness occurs for unexplained reasons and can last for six months or longer. People faced a similar ailment back in the 30s of the last century, but in fact, the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome was first made only in 1988. Until that time, chronic fatigue was considered a concomitant symptom of various diseases, including infectious diseases.

The feeling of extreme fatigue, caused by physical or mental strain, has been experienced by many.As a rule, this feeling arises after a responsible event or difficult work and disappears due to relaxation. In the case of ordinary fatigue, a person is able to easily determine the cause of his fatigue and overcome it. With chronic fatigue syndrome, everything is different: the patient finds it difficult to remember when, why and under what circumstances he felt tired. This condition can deeply disturb and depress the patient.

Modern medicine associates the emergence of chronic fatigue syndrome with a continuous acceleration of the pace of life and an increase in information flow.Any infectious disease can serve as the impetus for the onset of the disease. At the end of the acute period of infection, the patient may experience some weakness, increased fatigue and depression. Normally, this condition should go away in three weeks. With chronic fatigue syndrome, symptoms persist even after six months, and sooner or later the patient has to turn to a medical center for professional help.

Chronic fatigue syndrome: symptoms

The main symptom is endless fatigue, which does not leave a person even after prolonged sleep and rest.Most patients develop a concomitant ailment – persistent insomnia. Its appearance can be triggered by any factor – a change in the time zone, a change in the work schedule, or trivial stress.

Very often, chronic fatigue is accompanied by a significant deterioration in working capacity and a weakening of attention, a sharp deterioration in the psycho-emotional state. Apathy, depression, hypochondria may develop. In some cases, phobias occur against the background of chronic fatigue.There are known cases of violation of thermoregulation and a sharp decrease in body weight.

In chronic fatigue syndrome, the patient often complains of dizziness, headaches, photophobia, dry eyes. Pharyngitis, tachycardia, soreness of the lymph nodes are possible. Women may experience an increase in premenstrual syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome: prevention

A healthy lifestyle is the surest way to avoid the development of the syndrome.Eat right, control the level of mental stress, do not forget about the benefits of adequate physical training. A person who adheres to the correct daily routine and knows how to avoid stressful situations is less susceptible to any disease. Even if stress does overtake you, allow yourself to relax and unwind.

Take at least short breaks while working. If your work is connected with mental stress, do not be lazy to interrupt for simple physical exercises.Oddly enough, the constant sitting is very exhausting, so letting your body switch from mental to physical labor from time to time is very beneficial. A change of environment is equally useful for maintaining a healthy mental background. Travel as much as possible, go out into nature and control the amount of information you receive every day.

bin easily determine the cause of your fatigue and overcome it. With chronic fatigue syndrome, everything is different: the patient finds it difficult to remember when, why and under what circumstances he felt tired.This condition can deeply disturb and depress the patient.

Rospotrebnadzor named the common consequences of COVID-19 :: Society :: RBK

People who have undergone coronavirus infection may experience weakness, rapid fatigue, and impaired cognitive functions.They also complain of headache and muscle pain, dizziness, tachycardia, Rospotrebnadzor warned.

Photo: Ilya Pitalev / RIA Novosti

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 may experience weakness, fatigue, decreased memory and concentration, Natalya Pshenichnaya, deputy director for clinical and analytical work of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor, told RIA Novosti.

“In most cases, after suffering an acute respiratory viral infection, a person still feels weak and fatigued for a long time. This is especially true for those who have had the flu or COVID-19, ”Pshenichnaya said. Some cognitive impairments are also possible, she said.

In addition, people who have undergone coronavirus complain of cough, burning in the chest, headache, muscle pain, dizziness, tachycardia. After an infection, it is recommended not to rush to go to work and give the body time to recover, the epidemiologist noted.

Experts assess the way to transfer COVID-19 in a mild form

At the end of November, doctors interviewed by RBC reported about the deterioration of cognitive functions after suffering COVID-19, including a decrease in memory and concentration.According to them, against the background of the pandemic, people began to treat with such symptoms more often.

Motion sickness may continue on land

Several months after the cruise, she continued to feel motion sickness and began to realize that something strange was happening to her. The ill-fated tourist trip took place in 1998.

Nine years of incessant sea-rolling sensation forced Ms. Josselyn to leave her job as a court record clerk and forget about traveling to exotic countries.She cannot work at the computer for more than 15 minutes – excruciating headaches and dizziness begin. Landsickness, or “reverse motion sickness”, is familiar to many people who have made long sea cruises – it continues after landing and lasts from several hours to several days. But in patients like Ms. Josselin, the brain is no longer able to adapt to normal conditions – this is called mal de debarquement, “debarcation disease.”

Signs of this disorder include dizziness, nausea and a constant feeling of rolling, and this condition can persist for decades after a single sea voyage.Mary Richards, a 37-year-old psychotherapist from Palo Alto, California, who suffers from “debarkation disease”, compares her condition to being on a swing cart in an amusement park.

Neuropathologist Timothy C. Hain studied a group of 26 long-term seasick patients on the beach and published the first scientific study on “debarcation disease.” Most of the patients were middle-aged women.Most of them have tried many different medicines, including very strong ones, but nothing has helped. After years of researching individual patient histories, Dr. Hain formulated the theory of “debarcation disease.”

Trying to adapt to rolling, the brain of a person suffering from this disorder creates a certain pattern of movement of the plane on which the patient is located, continuing to follow it even when the plane is motionless. Dr. Hain noticed that many patients feel better when they are in a moving object, such as a boat, car, or plane.“When I get into the car, the discomfort decreases,” said Ms.