Manage Vertigo Symptoms – Vertigo Causes a Decline in These Essential Forms of Intelligence
Vertigo can make the world seem to spin, even when you’re sitting down.
It’s caused by problems with your vestibular system, which is the one that sends balance information to your brain.
Most of it is based in your ears and brain, and it’s like a clever internal compass that knows your body position and orientation in relation to gravity.
Every time you move it looks at the information it receives from your sensory organs and adjusts your perceptions to suit.
Since our eyes and ears play such a large role in our vestibular systems, many researchers have become interested in the ways that impaired vestibular systems affect those of our cognitive abilities that depend on these two organs.
Iranian scientists have just added to this body of research with an article in the journal Auditory and Vestibular Research. They were interested in the ways in which impaired vestibular systems (or basically vertigo) affect our auditory-verbal memory and our ability to read.
Auditory-verbal memory is our ability to receive, process, store, and recall speech sounds. We use it when we learn language, when we speak, and when we write.
They recruited 71 volunteers with an average age of 48, all of whom had a vestibular impairment diagnosis like Meniere’s disease and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
They were then given a few standard cognitive tests like the Persian reading test and the Rey auditory-verbal learning test to measure these cognitive abilities.
The study found no difference in the auditory-verbal memory and reading ability of the different type of vertigo sufferers, meaning that the cause of vertigo isn’t important here.
When they compared the performance of their subjects with normal adults, however, they noticed that the vertigo sufferers were a lot worse at reading and memorizing auditory-verbal information.
The researchers aren’t sure why vertigo disrupts these two cognitive processes so much, but they offered some educated guesses based on previous research.
When we read word-for-word, we move both our eyes and our heads. But people with vertigo have learned not to move their heads because it triggers their vertigo. So, when they read, their heads are static, and this may slow down their reading.
Another possibility is that vertigo sufferers have a problem with focusing their eyes on things, maybe because the rapid eye movements they experience during a vertigo attack could have caused permanent damage.
The Vestibular Disorders Association reports that a common experience of vertigo sufferers is that objects on a page seem to move, blur, or double. So, it’s no wonder their reading is affected.
Because our ears are involved in vertigo, certain sounds can trigger it. Sufferers experience hearing loss or fluctuations and noises in their ears. These auditory effects probably affect our auditory-verbal memories too, although the mechanisms still remain something of a mystery.
Manage Vertigo Symptoms – Is Vertigo Caused By Your Bones?
Past research on the subject has been inconsistent though, so a team of researchers looked at previously published studies to try and nail down the nature of that link.
When you go for a bone density test, they compare your bone density to that of a healthy 30-year-old using special x-rays. This is called your T-score.
The lower your T-score, the lower your bone density, and the higher your risk of bone fractures.
- A T-score of -1.0 or higher is normal. Think -0.9, -0.8, etc.
- A T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 points to a condition called osteopenia, where your bone density is too low but isn’t catastrophic.
- A T-score of -2.5 and lower indicates full-blown osteoporosis. This means your bone density is so low that you could easily get fractures.
In a newly published study, scientists looked to 11 previous studies that explored the relationship between bone density and vertigo in a total of 1,982 subjects.
The studies which grouped osteopenia and osteoporosis together found that those two conditions were 3.27 times more likely in people with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) than in people without it.
Studies which discussed these two bone conditions separately concluded that people with BPPV were 75 percent more likely to have osteopenia, and 3.84 times more likely to have osteoporosis than people without BPPV.
The studies that focused on T-scores found that people with BPPV had an average T-score that was -0.82 lower than those without it, and in the worst cases, their T-scores were -1.18 lower.
The studies make it clear that people with low bone density are more likely than their peers to suffer from vertigo.
So, now the question was why?
At the moment, scientists can only speculate about this, but it does seem to have something to do with the role of calcium in vertigo and bone formation.
When you get enough calcium in your diet, your body sends it straight to your bones where it helps them to grow nice and thick. But if you have a condition that won’t let your body process calcium effectively, whatever it can’t handle stays in your bloodstream instead, and if your bones aren’t always being rebuilt, then their density is going to decline.
Calcium also plays a part with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). It’s caused by loose calcium carbonate crystals accidentally falling into the semicircular tubes inside your inner ear where they irritate the nerve hairs that sense your balance. Once again, if you can’t process all the calcium in your diet, some of it ends up in your bloodstream, and some of that will more than likely end up inside these semicircular tubes.
Previous studies have suggested that estrogen, the hormone women lose after menopause, helps to process calcium. This is why postmenopausal women are more likely than younger women to have low bone density and vertigo.
But it’s also known that vitamin D helps your body to process calcium properly, so a lack of that could also play a role.
Manage Vertigo Symptoms – Hidden Vertigo and Migraine Connection
Vertigo and migraine both happen in the head. Aside from that, the traditional medical system has mostly ignored the connection between these two conditions.
And this is weird, since so many people suffering from one are also plagued by the other.
A new study, published in The Journal of Headache and Pain, took this theory a step further.
It discovered a hidden connection where you might not even be aware that you’re having a migraine when vertigo hits you.
To investigate the relationship between migraine and vertigo, the researchers analyzed the data collected by the Migraine and Neck Pain Study. This study included questionnaire-derived information from 487 adult migraine sufferers.
They asked these sufferers whether and when they suffered from vertigo and divided the vertigo into three time frames:
- Constant vertigo and other migraine symptoms at the beginning of the headache.
- Constant vertigo and other migraine symptoms that began less than two hours before the migraine auras and pain.
- Vertigo, constant or otherwise, and other migraine symptoms occurring two to 48 hours before the headache.
The migraine-suffering participants had to report which of these three groups their vertigo and other migraine symptoms would be classified under.
Altogether, 30 percent of people reported having vertigo at some point during their migraines. 16 percent had it at the beginning of the headache, 10 percent had it within two hours of the headache, and three percent between two and 48 hours prior to the headache.
Both the groups whose migraines were accompanied by auras and people who suffered migraines without auras suffered vertigo in approximately the same amounts at the same times.
This is why many scientists have started referring to these people as not just suffering from migraine but as suffering from vestibular migraine.
However, the International Classification of Headache Disorders still doesn’t classify vestibular migraine as a separate disorder.
In this study, they estimated that 26 percent of their participants suffered from vestibular migraine.
This disorder is so varied from a normal migraine that many sufferers don’t even experience headaches at all. They experience vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to sound. Therefore, they might not even realize that they are having a migraine attack.
This discovery is especially interesting to me because for years I’ve been helping people with migraine and vertigo using an almost identical approach.
You see, both migraines and vertigo are caused by lack of blood flow up to and throughout the head and brain area.
The solution is therefore to use simple exercises that allow more blood to be pumped up to and throughout the head throughout the day and night.
Each approach is a little bit different.
For more ideas to manage vertigo symptoms, watch this video – Vertigo: causes, symptoms, and treatments
So, if you suffer from vertigo, you should check out the vertigo exercises to manage vertigo symptoms here…
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