How are dizziness and vertigo treated?

Treatment for vertigo and dizziness varies widely depending on the cause. Your healthcare provider may refer you to an audiologist for vestibular and balance assessment to help determine the cause for dizziness, and help determine next steps in management. If you have an ear infection, you may just need anti-nausea medication until the infection is gone. For long-term (chronic) conditions, your healthcare provider may recommend vestibular rehabilitation. It’s similar to physical therapy, with the goal of improving your balance through specific exercises.

What can I do to prevent falling?

If you have dizziness or vertigo, you should avoid several activities, including:

  • Driving (until your doctor gives you approval).
  • Standing in high places, such as climbing a ladder.
  • Walking in the dark.
  • Wearing high-heeled shoes.

Take these steps to reduce your risk of falling:

  • Always use handrails when walking up and down stairs.
  • Change positions or turn slowly. Have something nearby to hold onto.
  • Install hand grips in baths and showers.
  • Practice exercises that can improve balance, such as tai chi or yoga.
  • Remove floor clutter that you might trip over like throw rugs, loose electrical cords and stools. Be careful around small pets that might get underfoot.
  • Sit on the edge of the bed for several minutes in the morning before you stand up.
  • Use a cane or walker.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/25/2020.


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