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3 Ways to Relieve Dizzy Spells in Seconds

Vertigo is easier to fix than you might think.


Ever feel unsteady when all you did was look up? This type of dizziness, known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), worsens in the fall, when shifts in barometric pressure disrupt the balance-regulating vestibular system in the inner ears. Luckily, these tricks can help.

Tap Nature’s Oldest Tree

Women with BPPV know the drill: One bout of vertigo means you’re more likely to endure recurrent waves of dizziness for four months. To sidestep trouble, take ginkgo biloba. Scientists say a daily dose of this “living fossil,” sourced from the Earth’s oldest order of trees, short-circuits the vicious circle of vertigo as effectively as prescription medicine for the condition — and without side effects like headaches and bloat. Research in the International Journal of Otolaryngology finds it works by boosting blood flow to the inner ears in the same way as medication.

Tilt Your Head

There’s an unexpected reason you feel dizzy when you look up or roll over in bed. Turns out your inner ear canals are filled with tiny “rocks” that help your body register whether it’s balanced. If they fall out of place, your sense of gravity gets thrown off. Fortunately, tilting your head in a series of simple moves rebalances calcium crystals in the inner ear, halting vertigo in minutes, say University of Colorado scientists. What’s more, the same study found that performing the technique just once or twice can halt future recurrences for at least a year. Try the “Epley maneuver,” a simple treatment shown in the video below.

Count Down to Calm

Notice bouts of vertigo surge when you’re stressed? A rush of cortisol hampers the part of the inner ear and brain that aids balance. For fast relief, sit tall and inhale through your nose for a count of seven, hold for seven, then exhale for seven. Repeat seven times. This stops the spins in the moment, plus tames stress spikes when done daily, cutting your risk of another wave of vertigo.

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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