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Preventing attacks of vertigo

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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Betahistine

Betahistine is a medicine that helps to increase blood flow around the inner ear, and it can help to prevent vertigo. If taken for up to a year, it may reduce the number and severity of vertigo attacks, although there is no firm evidence that it is effective.

Physiotherapy

A physiotherapist can improve your balance by teaching you a number of different exercise techniques. These exercises help by teaching you how to cope with the abnormal and disorientating signals coming from your inner ear. They teach you how to use alternative signals from your eyes, ankles, legs and neck to keep you balanced.

Self-help advice

The self-help advice listed below may help to relieve or prevent the symptoms of vertigo.

  • Sleep with your head slightly elevated (raised) on two or more pillows.
  • When getting out of bed, get up slowly and sit on the edge of the bed for a minute or so before standing.
  • Avoid bending down to pick up items.
  • Avoid extending your neck. For example, while reaching up to a high shelf.
  • Move your head carefully and slowly during daily activities, or when your neck is extended, or when your head is positioned horizontally, such as when you are lying flat.
Medical Review: February 20, 2009

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