By: Researcher Taymur
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis
A disease of the immune system that affects the central nervous system is multiple sclerosis (MS). With MS, myelin is damaged by inflammation, which is protective around nerve cells. The resulting scars, or scar tissue, interfere with nerve signal transmission.
MS symptoms may include problems with vision, limb numbness, and problems with balance. Dizziness and vertigo, although most people do not have them as their first symptoms, are common symptoms of MS. Read on to learn more about and what to do with these symptoms.
Understanding Dizziness and Vertigo in MS
Most people with MS experience dizziness episodes that can make you feel weak or off-balance. Some also have vertigo episodes. Vertigo is the false feeling that you or the world around you are whirling or spinning. Approximately 20 percent of people with MS experience vertigo, according to one Trusted Source report.
Dizziness and vertigo contribute to problems of balance that are common in people with MS. Continuous dizziness and vertigo may interfere with daily tasks, increase the risk of falling, and may even become disabled.
Understanding Vertigo Feelings
Vertigo is an intense feeling of spinning, even if you don’t move. It’s like what you feel when you ride a twirling amusement park. It can be very disturbing, even terrifying, the first time you experience vertigo.
Nausea and vomiting may accompany vertigo. For hours, or even days, it can continue. Dizziness and vertigo are sometimes caused by difficulties with vision, tinnitus and hearing loss, and difficulty standing or walking.
Understanding Dizziness and Vertigo Causes in MS
The lesions arising from MS make sending messages to the rest of the body difficult for nerves within the central nervous system. This causes symptoms of MS, which vary depending on the lesion location. A brain stem or cerebellum lesion or lesion, the area of the brain that regulates the equilibrium, may cause vertigo.
Vertigo can also be a symptom of an inner ear problem. Some medications, blood vessel disease, migraine, or stroke are other possible causes of dizziness or vertigo. The doctor may be able to help you rule out other potential causes of vertigo.
Understanding Self-Help Measures
The following steps will help you to stay safe and feel more comfortable if vertigo occurs:
- Sit until it’s gone.
- Avoid moving the position of your head or body.
- Turn the lights down and don’t try to read them.
- Avoid stairs and try not to drive until the vertigo is sure to pass.
- If you feel better, start moving very slowly.
Understanding Dizziness and Vertigo Treatments in MS
Anti-motion sickness medicines over – the-counter (OTC) may be all you need. Such tablets are available as oral tablets or patches of the hair. If dizziness or vertigo is chronic (long-lasting), your physician can prescribe anti-motion or anti-nausea medications that are more effective.
The doctor may prescribe a short course of corticosteroids in cases of severe vertigo. Physical therapy can also be helpful to improve balance and coordination.
Understanding Dizziness and Vertigo Risks in MS
The issues with balance caused by dizziness and vertigo increase the risk of falling injury. This applies in particular to people whose symptoms of MS already include difficulty walking, weakness, and fatigue. A few home-based security measures can help reduce this risk:
- Remove hazards from your home, especially throwing rugs.
- Use a walker or a cane.
- Install the grab bars and handrails.
- Use a chair with a shower.
- Most importantly, if you feel dizzy and feel the shakes coming on, make sure to sit down.
Understanding Doctors Need
Tell your doctor if you have MS and often experience dizziness or vertigo. They can look at you and rule out other issues to determine whether MS is the cause of the problem. Whatever the cause, your doctor may recommend a treatment course to help you feel better.