Text Size: a  |   a 

Dealing with the Spins: Dizziness & Vertigo in Multiple Sclerosis

June 13, 2017

Dizziness and vertigo are often early symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Many MS patients will experience episodes of dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling a bit off balance. Some also have episodes of vertigo, which is the false sensation of whirling or spinning. To give yourself an image, it’s similar to what you’d feel on a twirling amusement park ride, even if you’re not moving. It can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and can continue for hours or even days. Sometimes it can be accompanied by visual disturbances, tinnitus or hearing loss, and difficulty standing or walking. Continuous episodes of dizziness and vertigo can interfere with the performance of daily tasks, increase the risk of falls, and even become disabling.

Experiencing vertigo can be unsettling, even frightening. Tell your doctor if you have MS and experience frequent bouts of dizziness or vertigo. Your doctor can advise you on the best way to deal with your symptoms. In the meantime, when it occurs, you should sit down until it passes and avoid moving your head or body position. Avoid stairs and don’t attempt to drive until you’re sure the vertigo has passed. Move very slowly when you feel better. If you experience vertigo at night, sit up straight, turn on soft lighting, and remain still until you feel better. A comfortable recliner may help you as well. You can also get over-the-counter (OTC) anti-motion sickness medications for your vertigo. They are available as oral tablets or as skin patches. If it becomes chronic, your doctor may prescribe more powerful anti-motion sickness or anti-nausea medications.

Via Healthline