Vertigo symptoms traced to inner ear 'rock slides'

Saturday, August 18, 2012 by: Carolanne Wright
Tags: vertigo, inner ear, rock slides

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(NaturalNews) Small, displaced rocks within the ear have been found to cause dizziness, especially in those who are above the age of 50. Individuals who have experienced a head injury or viral infection are also at risk. Specialists who treat vertigo estimate around 20 percent of all cases are due to these loose crystals, sometimes referred to as 'ear rocks.' Instead of surgery, a specific type of physical therapy is recommended that shifts the rocks from the inner ear and allows the immune system to clear them away. Homeopathic and herbal remedies are also effective in reducing the symptoms of vertigo, including nausea and headache.

'Ear rocks' are the foundation for balance

A small pouch in the ear called the utricle houses approximately 1,000 tiny rocks made of calcium carbonate. Important for balance, the rocks trigger nerve cells that fire signals to the brain when the head is moved. This action governs our sense of up and down. When the rocks become dislodged and fall into the inner ear canal, confused messages are sent to the brain. These incorrect signals make the brain think the head is moving much more than it really is which results in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Non-invasive treatment options

An ear, nose and throat specialist can diagnose BPPV using the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. With this technique, the physician moves the body in a way that shifts the fluid of the inner ear. Vertigo is induced by the motion and the problematic ear is identified. Next, the Epley maneuver is practiced by the patient. From a seated posture, the patient quickly reclines into a position flat on their back. The head is then turned to a 90-degree angle which is held for about a minute. Lastly, the patient rolls over onto the non-symptomatic side for a moment before concluding the exercise. This maneuver helps relocate the rocks back to the area of the ear that is unaffected by their motion.

To help reduce the symptoms of vertigo, several natural remedies are available. Gingko biloba increases blood flow to the brain and may ease dizziness. Emily Kane, ND, LAc, recommends the following: "Start with 250 mg [of gingko] daily until the vertigo seems significantly diminished in severity and frequency, then reduce to a maintenance dose of 40-60 mg daily." Another helpful herb is Valerian--one teaspoon of the tincture once or twice daily. Homeopathic remedies for vertigo include: Apis, Baptisa, Belladonna, Bryonia, Cannabis, Cocculus, Conium, Digitalis, Ferrum metallicum, Gelsemium, Lycopodium, Phosphorus, Silica, Rhus-tox.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, vertigo is triggered by an excess of the 'wind' element which causes phlegm to accumulate in the ears. Avoid highly processed foods, dairy, sugar, eggs, animal fats and intoxicants. Helpful foods include basil, celery, chamomile, coconut, flax oil and pine nuts.

Sources for this article include:

"Vertigo natural treatment products and suggestions" Ray Sahelian, MD. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from:

"Inner Ear 'Rock Slides' Lead to Vertigo" Allison Aubrey, NPR, April 27, 2009. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from:

"Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)" Mayo Clinic Staff. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from:

"Ear rocks" may cause vertigo" Thomas Sellner, D.O., Banner Health. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from:

"Vertigo: Natural Treatments" Dr. Emily Kane, August 31, 2004. Retrieved on August 14, 2012 from:

About the author:
Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, wellness coach and natural foods chef, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.

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