Oh boy, it’s a vertigo day!

This getting old thing sucks. I’ve got things to do in the lab, but when I stood up this morning to walk in, woo hoo, the world was wobbling and spinning and doing all those fun things that prove to my mind that the universe really does rotate around me, and it does so really fast and rather chaotically.

Fortunately, I have some pills from the last time this happened to me, so my plan for the day has changed to sitting motionless and not turning my head too fast. Exciting. Oh, and if the rest of you could all stop whirling around me, that would help too.

It all cleared up within a day last time, and the previous case was a lot more severe, so I’m planning to be stable again soon. Now if I could just get this computer screen to stop swimming off to the left for a little while…


  1. birgerjohansson says

    If you need a rest, I suggest you watch something entertaining, like ‘Brandon’s Cult Movie Reviews’ or ‘God Awful Movies’ (abbreviated GAM) -the latter is about religion- or pseudoscience-themed films, from the 1950s to today.
    The former cult movies include gems that get every aspect of biology wrong, often combined with cheap monster rubber suits.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    I hope you recover swiftly.
    BTW your fellow skeptic Ed Brayton- with the blog Dispatches from the culture wars- has poor health, and has not posted anything since July 27th. I am getting worried. Does any reader here know anything about his condition?

  3. stroppy says

    Been there. Probably for different reasons, I don’t have pills specifically for that.

    If you’re spinning clockwise, maybe we could all get together and spin counterclockwise to settle you down.

  4. says

    I have a friend who has it and she does the Epley Maneuver at home. The specialist also recommended it. I’ll try to link to some videos, but you can google “epley maneuver at home.” It really works.

  5. StonedRanger says

    I too have suffered from vertigo. I went to my doctor and he sent me to physical therapy. Make sure you are hydrated as sometimes this can cause vertigo. Physical therapy in less than ten minutes cured my vertigo. Its amazing and if this keeps happening, you might want to give it a try. They have a quick test to help them tell which type if manipulation is needed. Its not like a chiro where they ‘crack’ your back. They just make you lie down and they turn your head and neck to help ‘reset’ your body.

  6. says

    Johns Hopkins – “Home Epley Maneuver”:

    What is the home Epley maneuver?

    The home Epley maneuver is a type of exercise help that helps to treat the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). You can do this exercise at home.

    BPPV is caused by a problem in your inner ear. Your semicircular canals are found inside your ear. They detect motion and send this information to your brain. The utricle is a nearby part of the ear. It contains calcium crystals (canaliths) that help it detect movement.

    Sometimes these crystals detach from the utricle and end up inside the semicircular canals. When these crystals move inside the canals, they may send incorrect signals to your brain about your position. This can make you feel like the world is spinning. This is called vertigo.

    Dr. John Epley designed a series of movements to dislodge the crystals from the semicircular canals. These movements bring the crystals back to the utricle, where they belong. This treats the symptoms of vertigo.

    The original Epley maneuver was designed to be done with a healthcare provider. The home Epley maneuver is similar. These are a series of movements that you can do without help, in your own home….

    More information at the link.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Meanwhile, you have the perfect excuse to curl up with a blanket over your legs and a drink.
    I searched for suitable arachnid entertainment, I found “Brandon’s Cult Movie Reviews: Tarantula”.
    It even has a very young Clint Eastwood showing a giant spider who is the boss.

  8. flange says

    @SC (Salty Current)
    I think you are correct. I had BPPV once, and it scared the hell out of me. The cure is easy (for someone who knows what he/she is doing), and decidedly low tech.

  9. Artor says

    The spiders in the hamster cage inside your inner ear have started running in the wrong direction PZ. If you send in more spiders, they can set things aright.

  10. says

    The Epley Maneuver works for one kind of vertigo not for other kinds. On the other hand it doesn’t hurt no matter what kind you have, so you might as well give it a whirl, as the saying goes.

  11. daved says

    @Artor “More spiders” is a good slogan but it will never replace “more cowbell!”

  12. says

    Vertigo: File under “If it’s not one damned thing, it’s another.”

    I’m preparing for my online classes this month and I hate the online format. Only now do I realize that I was ecstatically happy back in January at the start of spring semester and didn’t realize it, hence all the complaining I did.

  13. R. L. Foster says

    I feel for you, PZ. As one who suffers from sinus issues as well as labyrinthitis I’ve had bouts of dizziness too. As well as tinnitus. Everything was going swimmingly and then I hit 60. It was like a gene buried somewhere inside of my genome suddenly opened its eyes, yawned, looked around and said, “Time to wake up and fuck with you for the rest of your days.”

  14. davidc1 says

    I was going to post a silly joke about James Stewart and Kim Novak both suffered from Vertigo ,but i won’t .
    Get well soon Doc.

  15. davidnangle says

    I think we’re better off sacrificing ourselves under a mastodon’s feet at 35 years old, to help out the rest of the tribe. That way, we won’t have to experience the growing list of systemic failures.

  16. John Morales says

    davidnangle, we’re in agreement — sort of.

    I think I’m better off if others (such as you) sacrifice themselves for me. Go for it.

    (I’ll take the growing list of systemic failures over premature suffering and/or death)

  17. woodyemanuel says

    My wife suffers vertigo frequently. Others here have pointed out sources of help. A few cautions:

    1) Do not watch “2001, A Space Odyssey”, for a few months while recovering.
    2) Shun Flat Earthers and their “non-gravity cures.”

    Get well soon. We count on your stability.

  18. etfb says

    I was past fifty the first time I suffered a migraine, so I sympathise with these tales of Adult-Onset Awfulness. I’ve avoided them since by taking the warning signs VERY seriously. One was enough! From one falling-apart old man to another: good luck!

  19. tommynottimmy says

    I’ve had to deal with some bouts of BPPV and the Eply Maneuver worked wonders for me.

  20. grovergardner says

    Without wanting to be an armchair doctor, I’ll just reiterate what someone else mentioned. Dehydration has caused vertigo with me and a course of water and Gatorade helped a lot.

  21. wzrd1 says

    @grovegardner, electrolytes are largely unnecessary and potentially injurious in our Western society.
    Plain Jane water works well. Only add electrolytes if you’re experience large muscle group pain.
    Figure a quarter teaspoon of salt to water in a quart container. It’s worked wonders while I was in military medical land.
    Although, I’m still researching a personal magnesium loss. Still, that might be related to a heme loss, suspected to be from occult bleeding, feared by one physician to be a leaking AAA, which I’ll frankly doubt. More probable, an individual physiology quirk of metabolism. Which would explain some pica notions to chew some magnesium ribbon that I have about for science shows for local kiddies.

  22. says

    You have vertigo day, I have migraine week. Maybe we should just agree to lie down somewhere dark. Get better soon.

  23. davidc1 says

    @22 Talking about flat earthers ,someone got banned from one of their sites for asking”Has all the social distancing pushed any of their member over the edge “.HAHAHA .

  24. captainjack says

    I developed anemia in 2010 from a low iron condition that was never explained and even had every inch of my alimentary canal imaged with no results. I was given iron infusions for 4 – 5 years but haven’t needed one for the last few. Guess I finally got my tank filled. Human bodies can get weird.