Why do I feel dizzy while studying?

What helps against dizziness?

Status: 03.08.2020 11:22 a.m.
Dizziness is a symptom that can have many causes.

Dizziness is not a disease, it is a symptom. The feeling arises that the environment or one's own body is turning or swaying. This is not about movements, but about a disturbed perception of the environment. Dizziness can have a variety of causes, each of which requires different therapies.

VIDEO: What helps against dizziness? (7 min)

This is how the organ of equilibrium works

The organ of equilibrium in the inner ear is responsible for ensuring that people do not lose their balance. It consists of three fluid-filled semicircular canals in which there are sensory cells. With every movement, the cells are activated and deliver information to the brain. There a comparison with information from the eyes, the position of joints and muscles takes place. The brain uses this to calculate the position of the body in space. If one or more pieces of information do not match, dizziness occurs.

Chat log on dizziness

The triggers of dizziness can only be found through a careful diagnosis. The specialist in ear, nose and throat medicine Silja Strauss answered questions on the subject. more

Central and peripheral vertigo

There are two types of vertigo:

  • Central dizziness arises from disorders in the brain, for example as a result of circulatory disorders in a stroke or from tumors.
  • Peripheral vertigo occurs when the equilibrium organ (positional vertigo) or the equilibrium nerve (Menière's disease) are disturbed. The bilateral failure of the balance organs can be triggered by the side effects of some drugs or by meningitis. Typical symptoms are dizziness and shaky vision, especially when exercising.

Posing vertigo is harmless

The most common pathological form of dizziness is positional dizziness. Around 2 to 2.5 percent of the population are affected. This type of vertigo is uncomfortable but harmless. Typical Symptoms:

  • The dizziness occurs spontaneously.
  • The attacks occur when the head is moved.
  • The dizziness lasts up to 60 seconds.

Positional vertigo usually occurs when calcium crystals (otoliths) accumulate in the posterior semicircular canal of an organ of equilibrium. With certain movements, the crystals move with gravity in the lymphatic fluid of the semicircular canal and stimulate the sensory hairs. This irritates the brain and causes vertigo.

Typical trigger for positional vertigo:

  • Righting up and turning over in bed
  • Stooping
  • Lie down
  • Working overhead
  • Look up

Exercises against positional dizziness

It is not clear why calcium crystals form and detach in the equilibrium organ. Presumably it is a normal aging process. In most cases, positional vertigo resolves on its own. If not, special exercises can help. In a study of more than 200 people, 98 percent were healed after three sessions.

Dizziness from Meniere's disease

Another cause of dizziness can be Meniere's disease. The disease of the inner ear significantly affects the function of the organ of equilibrium. Dizziness and nausea occur very suddenly, often with hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and pressure on the ears.

Dizziness due to inflammation of the equilibrium nerve

Unilateral failure of an organ of equilibrium is usually the result of inflammation of the equilibrium nerve. In most cases, the inflammation is caused by the herpes virus. In the so-called vestibular neuritis, vertigo and vertigo suddenly occur, combined with nausea and vomiting. Those affected tend to fall and have visible eye movement disorders (nystagmus).

The symptoms typically increase rapidly in the first few hours, stay for a few days and finally resolve within days to weeks. The improvement in symptoms is due to the fact that the brain learns to compensate for the failure of an organ of equilibrium. Cortisone preparations can be used for treatment.

Dizziness caused by psychological triggers

Dizziness can also be psychological. Experts then speak of somatoform or psychosomatic dizziness. After benign positional vertigo, it is the second most common form of vertigo. About 15 to 20 percent of those affected have somatoform dizziness. The most common is the phobic postural vertigo in the context of anxiety disorders. The dizzy spells typically only occur in certain situations, for example when standing in large crowds or when crossing large squares. The dizziness attacks are often accompanied by severe vegetative symptoms such as sweating, palpitations or nausea.

In psychosomatic dizziness, the organs of equilibrium are intact. Therefore, the symptoms can be treated successfully in most cases. It is crucial to educate those affected about the psychological background and the mechanisms behind the development of dizziness. Just knowing about it makes everyday life easier for many of those affected. In the context of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapies and supporting physiotherapeutic therapies, those affected learn to control dizziness and to break the vicious circle of fear, dizziness and anxiety. Typically, the symptoms improve when the balance organ is challenged.

Distract from dizziness with sport and exercise

If dizziness is caused by psychological triggers, distraction through exercise and exercise can help. The body learns to compensate for dizziness. Those affected should begin with non-dangerous activities that do not stress the balance too much. Nordic walking and spinning (indoor cycling), for example, are well suited. Balance training with physiotherapists who specialize in balance problems (vestibular therapists) is ideal. Important: The therapy requires patience, it can take several months

Social isolation through learned vertigo

Anyone who has experienced organic vertigo can develop what is known as learned vertigo. Affected people then unconsciously feel dizzy, even if no organic cause can be found. The dizziness can lead to bad posture, fear of falling and, not infrequently, to feel social isolation. Many of those affected hardly dare to leave the house.

Recognize the causes of dizziness

The causes of dizziness can be found out, for example, in a dizziness clinic, in which specialists from several disciplines work together. The following are important:

  • exact Description of dizziness
  • exact Description of the situationsin which dizziness develops: how does it feel? Do you break into a sweat? Are there any special triggers? Are there things that can help reduce dizziness? A vertigo diary can be helpful for this.
  • Medication on Side effects consider, for example, antihypertensive drugs, antidepressants, anti-epileptic drugs, sedatives, and sleeping pills
  • imaging procedures such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging
  • Measurement of reflex-like eye movements with abrupt head movements using special glasses (video oculography)

Dizziness medication

If no clear treatable cause for chronic dizziness can be found, a treatment attempt with a so-called antivertigonosum can be useful. These drugs are used for the symptomatic treatment of dizziness: they relieve dizziness and nausea, but do not eliminate the cause.

There are five classes of active ingredients:

  • Antihistamines, for example dimenhydrinate
  • Calcium channel blockers, for example cinnarizine and flunarizine
  • Histamine agonists, such as betahistine (used primarily for Menière's disease)
  • Dopamine receptor antagonists, for example sulpiride, alizapride (for peripheral dizziness)
  • Herbal ingredients: ginkgo, ginger

The combination of Cinnarizine and Dimenhydrinate acts at the same time on central and peripheral vertigo and is therefore often used for chronic senile vertigo for which no single cause can be determined. It can help those affected to get their dizziness under control and gain a bit of quality of life.

It is important that if dizziness has existed for a long time, no immediate effect is to be expected. In this case, it will take some time to judge whether or not the drug can effectively relieve the dizziness. It should therefore not be discontinued without consulting a doctor if it does not initially work.

Also the Dopamine antagonistSulpiride can be helpful with chronic dizziness, also with mild complaints herbal alternatives like ginkgo for better blood circulation in the brain or ginger for nausea.

Side effects of vertigo medication

Dizziness drugs work in the brain. The most common side effects are tiredness and drowsiness, both of which can lead to dizziness. Some dizziness drugs also cause dry mouth, blurred vision, and changes in blood pressure.

Exercises against dizziness

In many cases, those affected can do something about the causes of the dizziness. Special exercises ...

  • ... stabilize the circulation with low blood pressure
  • ... enable a stable stand
  • ... train your sense of balance

Exercise: Stabilize circulation when blood pressure is low

  • Laying Move hands, feet and legs. Then slowly straighten up, allowing time and making active small movements in each phase of the straightening, for example moving hands and fingers, moving feet, stretching, circling. With this exercise, the blood pressure stabilizes, fainting is prevented, and the dizziness when standing up subsides. This prevents the blood from sinking to the legs and prevents the brain from reacting with dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • While sitting nod and shake your head. This loosens the muscles, relieves cramps, improves the sense of balance and counteracts dizziness. Many sufferers keep their necks stiff for fear of dizziness. The exercise relaxes the neck muscles, reduces stiffness and also the fear of dizziness. Confidence in your own body grows.

Exercise: enable a stable stance

Stand barefoot or with socks on a hedgehog ball, holding onto a door frame or a piece of furniture. The feet must press the ball with force, move it back and forth. Alternately loosen the pressure and press firmly again, like when inflating an air mattress.

The knobs of the hedgehog ball ensure better blood circulation in the soles of the feet and stimulate balance receptors there. These send signals to the brain, which makes it easier to perceive the feet. The stance becomes more stable, the feet relax. Affected people get more grounded, no longer wobble and their dizziness subsides.

Exercise: train your sense of balance

Dancing trains orientation in space and strengthens balance. Moving to music is fun, distracts from dizziness and strengthens self-confidence. This will reduce the dizziness. A dance partner gives those affected support - many are less afraid of dizziness.

Experts on the subject

Dr. Silja Strauss, head doctor
Day clinic dizziness
Asklepios Clinic St. Georg
Lohmühlenstrasse 5
20099 Hamburg
(040) 18 18-85 22 90 (day clinic)

Prof. Dr. Christoph Helmchen, medical director
Dizziness clinic Lübeck
University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein
Ratzeburger Allee 160
23538 Lübeck

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