Vertigo is the most common cause of falls and broken bones among the elderly.
But could falling also be the cause of vertigo?
And in that case, how should you treat your vertigo?
A new study in the journal Injury investigated this issue and came up with a simple solution for vertigo caused by falling.
Scientists from the Ajou University School of Medicine in Suwon, South Korea, investigated 74 patients who were hospitalized at the Trauma Center at Ajou University Hospital; 41 of these patients were diagnosed with post-traumatic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (t-BPPV).
This is relatively similar to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, the most common type of vertigo, in which calcium crystals fall into the semicircular canals of our inner ears. The only difference is that t-BPPV is caused by some traumatic event.
So what did the researchers find?
1. Of the subjects with t-BPPV in this study, 36% suffered falls and 32% were in car accidents.
2. Nineteen of the patients had mild t-BPPV while 22 suffered from a more severe version.
3. The severe vertigo group was hospitalized for 20 days on average, compared with 10 days in the mild vertigo group.
4. The severe vertigo group stayed in intensive care for 3 days, compared with 0 days for the mild vertigo group.
5. The severe vertigo group required 13.5 days for their vertigo to clear up, compared with six days among the mild vertigo group.
6. Those with the worst traumatic injuries had to wait for 10 days before vertigo treatment started, compared with 3 days for the less severely injured patients.
From these findings, the researchers concluded that vertigo management for t-BPPV patients was too easily delayed in cases of severe injury or a long ICU treatment period.
They recommended that vertigo treatment be initiated early, even among patients with serious injuries, to prevent vertigo from becoming too difficult to successfully treat.
In this study, doctors used the canalith repositioning procedure, a common physical therapy treatment for normal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which was treated successfully in all cases.