Hanging onto the Bedpost

Inner Ear; 1-Cochlea 2-Saccule 3-Utricle 4-Pos...


©Jeanne E. Webster

Struggling to awaken, I realized my hands were clinging to the bedpost with unbelievable desperation.  Immediately I knew my old arch enemy, “Very Exasperating Really Tormenting Injurious Ghastly Ogre”, or Vertigo for short, had scored another early morning hit.  Dreams softly whispered somnolent charms as I slept, restfully and soundly.  But, as soon as I turned onto my “wrong” side, the sleep ogre suddenly threw my world into a tailspin.   My inner ear was under attack!

This is a portrayal of BPPV, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Some folks have the feeling of the room spinning around, while others sense it’s their head that is doing the spinning.  Either way, it is one of the scariest sensations that can present itself to you, especially grabbing you from a sound sleep in a dark room into a frightening scene lifted from a horror movie.  The key to shortening its sway over you is to pick a spot on the wall directly in your front line of vision and focus on that one spot.  It is an arduous ordeal for your eye muscles, I must say, but it works and will most times keep you from reaching the nauseous stage.  The dizziness will soon wane and you will regain your bearings again.

Usually this form of vertigo disrupts your balance due the particular position of your head.    With me, it happens if I lay on my left side.  Also it does not always present the tendency to do so.  Many things can bring it on, such as stress, an inner ear virus, organic pressure, overuse of the eyes by reading/writing too long, or accumulation of too much fluid.  Limit your caffeine and sodium intake!   I’ve never been excused for these two infractions and have paid dearly, but everyone is different.

There are many resources online to help you deal with this dizziness.  There are medications, treatments, and surgeries that all deal with easing your balance problem.  Discuss your symptoms with your family doctor for you can fall and really bring great harm on yourself.  The more you understand this problem, the more assurance you will have.

Reading exacerbates this tendency, so I have written enough here.  Your eyes will tell you when it’s time to quit.  Mine just did!

Have a good night‘s sleep…and don’t let the dizzy ogre getcha!