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Q Can ayurveda help ver­tigo in an el­derly per­son?

AThe sud­den sen­sa­tion that your head or your en­tire body is spin­ning is de­scribed as ver­tigo.

The symp­toms of be­nign parox­ys­mal po­si­tional ver­tigo (BPPV) may in­clude in­ter­mit­tent symp­toms of dizzi­ness, ver­tigo, loss of balance, nau­sea and vom­it­ing. Ab­nor­mal rhyth­mic eye move­ments usu­ally ac­com­pany the symp­toms of BPPV, which has also been as­so­ci­ated with mi­graines. The con­di­tion is due to a dis­or­der of the equi­lib­rium sen­sor in the in­ner ear. This can be caused by a sud­den change in body po­si­tion, such as turn­ing over in bed abruptly or get­ting in and out of bed sud­denly.

BPPV is mainly en­coun­tered in the el­derly, and the most com­mon cause is de­gen­er­a­tion of the vestibu­lar sys­tem of the in­ner ear. Preva­lence of BPPV is seven times higher in those above 60 years, com­pared with those aged 18 to 39 years. Women are more sus­cep­ti­ble than men. A head in­jury or any other dis­or­der of the balance or­gans of your ear may make you more sus­cep­ti­ble.

In Ayurveda, the symp­toms are equated with a dis­or­der due to vata and pitta im­bal­ance. Ac­cord­ing to Ayurveda, all move­ments in the body are gov­erned and con­trolled by the en­ergy fac­tor vata.

Vata causes wear and tear and pitta causes in­flam­ma­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Ayurveda, child­hood is a kapha-dom­i­nated time; mid­dle age is pitta time; and ad­vanced years is vata time. The chances of get­ting an im­bal­ance of vata is higher in the el­derly.

Ayurveda treat­ments like Nasya (nasal drops), Shi­rod­hara, Tha­lam (ap­pli­ca­tion of medicine on crown), Kar­napooranam (ear drops) and vata bal­anc­ing in­ter­nal med­i­ca­tions may help. Con­sult­ing an ayurvedic prac­ti­tioner in per­son would be nec­es­sary.

Favour sweets over sour foods; have milk, ghee, meat soups. Ap­ply oil on scalp.

Re­duce spicy and salty foods, ex­po­sure to cold breezes and sun.

Avoid late nights, overex­er­tion and stress. Rest is es­sen­tial. Try ap­ply­ing ksheer­a­bala thailam or a few drops of ghee on your scalp be­fore a shower.

Take a tea­spoon of ghee at bed­time fol­lowed by a glass of warm milk. Eat raisins or dates.

In­clude green gram (moong dhal) and urud dhal sautéed with ghee in your diet.

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