Vertigo is a symptom, rather than a condition itself. It's the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning. This feeling may be barely noticeable, or it may be so severe that you find it difficult to keep your balance and do everyday tasks. Attacks of vertigo can develop suddenly and last for a few seconds, or they may last much longer. If you have severe vertigo You should see your GP if you have persistent signs of vertigo or it keeps coming back. Your GP will ask about your symptoms and can carry out a simple examination to help determine some types of vertigo. They may also refer you for further tests. Vertigo is commonly caused by a problem with the way balance works in the inner ear, although it can also be caused by problems in certain parts of the brain. Some cases of vertigo improve over time, without treatment. However, some people have repeated episodes for many months, or even years, such as those with Ménière's disease. There are specific treatments for some causes of vertigo. A series of simple head movements (known as the Epley maneuver) is used to treat BPPV. Medicines, such as prochlorperazine and some antihistamines, can help in the early stages or most cases of vertigo. Many people with vertigo also benefit from vestibular rehabilitation training (VRT), which is a series of exercises for people with dizziness and balance problems.
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